Moscow says US coalition strikes on Syrian forces 'unacceptable'

Elias Hubbard
May 20, 2017

Gatilov, who the agencies said was speaking in Geneva, said the strike had violated Syria's sovereignty and would not help efforts to find a political solution to the conflict there.

On Thursday the US-led anti-ISIS coalition said it has struck "pro-regime forces advancing in a de-escalation zone" established in collaboration with allied militias near the At Tanf border crossing with Jordan.

The new strike of the US Air Force in Syria confirms Washington's intention to use the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) for the fight against Bashar Assad's government, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Friday.

"This brazen attack by the so-called global coalition exposes the falseness of its claims about fighting terrorism", the source said.

Russia also criticized the strike, with Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov Gatilov accusing the USA on Friday of violating Syria's sovereignty and alleging the airstrike hit civilians, according to Russian media.

U.S. airstrikes targeting pro-Assad forces close to the Iraqi border have been branded "completely unacceptable" by Russian Federation.

Ja'afari said he had raised the incident with United Nations mediator Staffan de Mistura at peace talks in Geneva.

The coalition said "apparent" Russian attempts to stop pro-Assad forces from moving toward Tanf, as well as warning shots and a show of force, had failed.

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

Syrian state media provided no precise figures about the number of casualties, but the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said eight people were killed in the attack.

The development comes only a few days after USA jets killed almost two dozen civilians in an attack on an area in Syria's eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr near the border with Iraq. This is totally unacceptable; it is a violation of Syrian sovereignty.

We review the key developments in Syria, including Syrian and Russian anger over a USA airstrike, the walkouts threatening to derail Geneva peace talks and defeat for ISIS following its bloody raids on two central Syrian villages.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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