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Pentagon claims Syrian opposition troops wounded in Russian air strike
Troops of the Syrian Democratic Forces supported by the United States and their allies have been wounded in a Russian air strike, the Pentagon says.
"At approximately 12:30 a.m. GMT Sept. 16, Russian forces struck a target east of the Euphrates River in Syria near Dayr Az Zawr, causing injuries to Coalition partner forces," says a news release published on Saturday by Operation Inherent Resolve that the US-led coalition carries out in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State terrorist group.
The news release claims that Russia knew there were Syrian opposition forces and coalition's advisors in the area.
"Several SDF fighters were wounded and received medical care as a result of the strike," the release reads, adding coalition troops were not affected.
"Coalition officials are available and the de-confliction line with Russia is open 24 hours per day," Coalition Commander Lieutenant General Paul Funk said. "We put our full efforts into preventing unnecessary escalation among forces that share ISIS as our common enemy."
Along with this, the coalition emphasized that they "always retain the right of self-defense."
In the meantime, Russian Defense Ministry's Spokesman Igor Konashenkov rejected the allegations of the Russian air strike on SDF positions.
"It is impossible. Why on earth should we bomb them?" he told the AFP news agency.
[Source: Itar Tass, Washington, 16Sep17]
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