United States military conducts airstrike on pro-government forces in Syria

The United States military has carried out an air strike against forces supported by the Syrian Government that posed a threat to US-coalition fighters in the country's south, USA officials say.

But a statement on Syrian state news agency Sana said that the air strikes at 16:30 (13:30 GMT) on Thursday had targeted one of the "military points" of its army.

It's been publicly known for almost a year that USA special operations forces operate out of the base, near where the borders of Jordan, Iraq and Syria meet, training Syrian rebels in their fight against Islamic State militants.

American aircraft struck a convoy of troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday, in a rare direct assault by the United States on forces affiliated with the Syrian government.

"The Syrian Arab Army is fighting terrorism on its territory, and no party has the right to determine the course of its operations".

The U.S. special forces have been present in the area "for many months" to train and advise Free Syrian Army fighters.Damascus considers USA military presence illegal in the country.

Coalition officials initially tried to stem the advance of the Syrian military convoy with a series of warning shots and US aircraft carrying out a low flyover above the convoy in a show of force.

The United States has not spoken about any strikes carried out by the USA -led coalition on that date. This is totally unacceptable; it is a violation of Syrian sovereignty.

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According to Russian officials on Friday, the new USA strike undermines anti-terrorism efforts in the region.

The airstrikes, which killed Syrian government forces and Iranian-backed militia, occurred close to the border with Iraq.

In a statement, the US-led coalition said it had struck "pro-regime forces. that posed a threat to U.S. and partner forces".

When five Syrian military vehicles persisted in approaching the base, the USA conducted a "show of force" with two warplanes to persuade them to halt.

Per the AP, local opposition groups say the attack destroyed several vehicles and caused multiple casualties. An exception was the US cruise missile strike that was launched last month in retaliation for Assad's chemical weapons attack that killed 86 people. Al-Tanf came under attack by ISIS in April and Russian aircraft bombed the base last summer.

Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said the USA will defend its troops in case of "aggressive" steps against them.

The US military launched the attack against a convoy of the Syrian military heading towards the border near Jordan where Daesh terrorists are based.

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