The unending cycle of violence that is Syria got even murkier this week with US -backed forces clashing with those of the Syrian government backed by Russian Federation and Iran in the far northeastern region, while farther to the west the USA -supported coalition was being threatened by Turkish forces.
SOHR said the fighters that attacked the SDF headquarters consisted of Afghan Shiite forces and local tribesmen in support of President Bashar Assad.
"Pro-government Syrian fighters are confronting Daesh militants "who are under the protection" of the US-led coalition and the allied forces of the SDF", it added".
A USA military spokesman said the United States launched air and artillery strikes after Syrian government forces attacked a compound belonging to the Syrian Democratic Forces, a US ally, in Khusham, Syria, Politico reported. Turkey has demanded that United States troops withdraw from that area.The commander of the US-led coalition, Lt. Gen. Paul Funk, told reporters during a visit to Manbij Wednesday that the USA had no plans to withdraw and would continue working with local forces that are opposed by Turkey.Facing attacks by pro-regime forces and threats by a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, the approximately 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria could find it increasingly hard to help bring about the long list of objectives outlined by Tillerson last month without additional clashes that could widen the conflict.
A US military airstrike has killed over 100 Pro-regime soldiers fighting for the Assad government, against anti-Assad rebels. This clash, which took place in Khusham near the Euphrates River, is the largest reported to date between USA -backed forces and pro-regime forces in Syria.
Separately, the USA -led air and artillery strikes began overnight Wednesday in Deir al-Zour province. The U.S.is looking into whether Russian contractors operating in the vicinity were also involved, according to another U.S. official who spoke to CNN, saying there is no direct evidence yet that the Russians had fired on the SDF facility. Russian contract soldiers were killed in the attack.
The comments by Mattis came on the heel of deadly US-led coalition air strikes which killed some 100 pro-Syrian government forces.
No US troops were killed or wounded in the incident, officials said.
The US-led coalition was established in 2014 to fight the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, but it has bombed troops loyal to Damascus on several occasions. It also lowers (in only a very small way) the likelihood of a confrontation with the USA if these forces come into contact. "We don't know", reported The Washington Times.
The attack on Deir Ezzor is part of a steady ratcheting up of the multisided conflict in Syria, provoked overwhelmingly by Washington's announced decision to maintain a permanent U.S. military occupation of the country and pursue a "post-ISIS" policy centered on the original United States objectives of Syrian regime change and rolling back Iranian and Russian influence in the region.