Pro-Syrian government forces in southern Syria have been hit by an American airstrike. U.S. officials revealed that the pro-Syrian government forces advanced towards a protected area where they were setting up fighting positions.
U.S. officials have indicated that it is not yet known as to whether they were pro-government allied or Syrian army troops.
The strike was conducted near Tanf. The pro-regime forces had entered a so-called de-confliction zone without authorization and were perceived as a threat to U.S.-allied troops there. The strike was a defensive move to protect the U.S. allies. The presence of U.S. forces in the area is yet to be confirmed.
The officials were speaking under the condition of anonymity since they weren't authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
The government of President Bashar al-Assad and various forces opposing the government have engaged in the war for more than six years.
The Syrian regime forces were the main target during the airstrike, this was after they breached a de-confliction zone.
The first attempt failed when the US-led coalition commander tried to get the pro-Assad forces out of the zone by dispatching two US aircraft as a show of force. However, the forces did not respond, the commander called for an airstrike.
The proximity of where the strike was conducted and the base in An-Tanf is very close. The base is used by the coalition to train vetted Syrian opposition to help fight against Isis.
Apart from the US cruise missile strike that was launched in retaliation for Assad’s chemical weapons attack, the coalition is generally not fighting the Syrian government. Thursday’s strike has been termed as a defensive action that does not alter the US policy on fighting ISIS.