Jets strike US-backed forces in Syria
Six fighters from Syrian Democratic Forces wounded in air strikes by Russian forces
US-backed militias said they came under attack yesterday from Russian jets and Syrian government forces in Syria’s Deir Al Zor border province, a focus of an increasingly complex conflict.
The strikes wounded six fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), according to the alliance of mostly Kurdish and Arab militias fighting alongside a US-led military coalition.
The United States and Russia are backing separate offensives in Syria’s multi-sided conflict — with both sides advancing against Daesh in the eastern region that borders Iraq.
The separate assaults by the Russian-supported Syrian government and the US-supported SDF have raised fears that clashes that could stoke tensions between the competing world powers.
“Our forces east of the Euphrates were hit with an attack from the Russian aircraft and Syrian regime forces, targeting our units in the industrial zone,” the SDF said in a statement. There was no immediate comment from the Syrian government or from Moscow about the air strikes.
Both offensives are converging on Daesh from opposite sides of the Euphrates river — the Syrian army with allied forces from the west and the SDF from the east. The Russian- and US-backed offensives against Daesh in Syria have mostly stayed out of each other’s way as the two states seek to avoid conflict.