The US-led coalition in Syria killed more than 100 Syrian regime forces on Wednesday after its headquarters suffered an "unprovoked attack", according to a statement from Operation Inherent Resolve and Reuters.
Over 500 pro-government fighter armed with tanks, mortars, artillery and multiple-launch rocket systems carried out the attack, according to an unnamed USA military personnel.
The American officials added that the assault was carried out using mortars, multiple-launch rocket systems, heavy artillery which were all backed up by more than 500 soldiers from the pro-government faction.
After the attack the coalition "conducted strikes against attacking forces to repel the act of aggression".
"We suspect Syrian pro-regime forces were attempting to seize terrain SDF had liberated from [IS] in September 2017", one U.S. official told Reuters news agency.
It's rare for the U.S.to strike forces that support Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.
Russian Federation said the air strikes only wounded 25 fighters, but claimed the measure points to United States designs for the resource rich area.
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Regime forces were likely attempting to take an oilfield near Khusham. This official added that there is no direct evidence yet that the Russians had fired on the Syrian Democratic Forces facility where the U.S. advisers were located. US -backed Kurdish-led forces have been competing for control of Deir el-Zour with Russian-backed Syrian troops that are reinforced by Iranian-supported militias. The Syrian army is supported by Iranian-backed militias, Lebanese resistance Shitte group Hezbollah and Russian forces and contractors.
Russian Federation is the regime's main ally on the ground in Syria and in the worldwide arena, frequently using its permanent seat on the Security Council to provide Damascus with diplomatic cover within the global community.
The official said about 100 pro-government forces were killed in the counterattack.
The closer the USA gets to its original goal in Syria of defeating the Islamic State group, the murkier its end game.
"As a result of the shelling, 25 Syrian militias were injured", the statement said.
Those pro-regime vehicles and personnel who retreated were not targeted by coalition air and artillery strikes, he said.
The United States maintains about 2,000 troop in Syria, mostly working with the estimated 50,000 Syrian Democratic Forces.
Russia's foreign ministry meanwhile claimed Thursday that the US airstrike on pro-Assad troops reflected Washington's attempts to seize Syrian economic assets. In southeast Syria, the USA fired at Iranian-backed militias that were advancing toward the southeastern base of al-Tanf that it holds near the border with Iraq and Jordan. The US also shot down a pro-regime drone after it dropped a munition in the vicinity of US troops in Syria.