For US in Syria, end game gets murkier as IS shrinks

For US in Syria, end game gets murkier as IS shrinks

For US in Syria, end game gets murkier as IS shrinks

However, America's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey says those same Kurdish groups are linked to Kurdish separatists who have fought a decade-long insurgency against the Turkish government.Shortly after Tillerson's speech and an announcement by the U.S. military that it meant to work with the Syrian Democratic Forces to establish a border security force in order to secure areas liberated from ISIS, Turkey launched a major military operation targeting Kurdish groups in Afrin, Syria.While the United States does not support groups in Afrin, they are linked to American allies elsewhere in Syria.

A US military airstrike has killed over 100 Pro-regime soldiers fighting for the Assad government, against anti-Assad rebels.

It has since become apparent that dozens of Syrian troops were killed in the air attack and whilst numerous fallen troops belonged to the National Defence Forces (Syrian national paramilitary), others also belonged to the elite ISIS Hunters detachment.

The only previous United States attack resulting in comparable bloodshed was the September 17, 2016 USA airstrike against a Syrian army position near the Deir Ezzor airport, which killed 62 soldiers and wounded some 100 more. It also said it was aware only of 25 Syrian militia members having been wounded in the U.S. strikes. The two warring factions have for the past year collided on multiple occasions in efforts to drive the Islamic state fighters popularly known as ISIS from their last stronghold in Syria.

Russia's Defense Ministry also issued a statement condemning the USA attack, saying it proved the U.S. isn't interested in fighting ISIS, but rather in trying to seize control of Syria's economic assets through military means. "We had a very productive conversation", said Pentagon spokesperson Dana White. Other officials said the U.S. also used Air Force AC-130 gunships and Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to strike the pro-government fighters. "Why they chose to initiate this attack, you'll have to ask them". Until launching the anti-ISIS campaign in 2014, Washington had sought the ouster of the government of President Bashar al-Assad by means of supporting and arming the Al Qaeda-linked militias out of which ISIS itself emerged.

More than 13.1 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian aid, including 6.1 million who have been displaced within the country during the almost seven-year war.

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Wounded fighters were taken to the military hospital in Syria's eastern Deir Ezzor city, which is controlled by the government.

"We are not looking for a conflict with the regime", she added.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has dismissed concerns the US is being dragged into a broader conflict in Syria after a major clash with pro-Syrian government forces overnight that may have left 100 or more of them dead. The State Department issued a statement saying that the bombings "must stop now".

The Air and artillery strikes from American and coalition forces happened in the eastern part of Syria in the middle of the Euphrates Valley which has for a long time been a non-official boundary for the two warring factions.

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