US kills 18 allied fighters in ‘misdirected airstrike’ in Syria


The US military says a ‘misdirected airstrike’ in northern Syria has killed 18 allied fighters.
The airstrike hit members of the Syrian Democratic Forces south of the city of Tabqa the Pentagon said this afternoon.

‘The strike was requested by the partnered forces, who had identified the target location as an Isis fighting position,’ they said in a statement.

‘The target location was actually a forward Syrian Democratic Forces fighting position.’
US Central Command said that coalition aircraft were given the wrong coordinates by their partner forces, the predominantly-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces, for a strike intended to target Islamic State militants south of their Tabqa stronghold.

The SDF, with the help of air and ground support from the US-led coalition, has surrounded Tabqa.
Several nations have lent their air power to the coalition to defeat the Islamic State group. It is not clear which air force was behind the strike.


Earlier, Russia’s foreign minister says Moscow expects the UN’s chemical weapons watchdog to conduct an extensive probe into last week’s chemical attack in Syria.

Sergey Lavrov said that inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons should both visit the Syrian air base, which the US said had served as a platform for the attack, and the town of Khan Sheikhoun that was hit to get a full and objective picture.

He said Russia vetoed a Western draft UN resolution on Wednesday because it failed to mention the need to inspect the area of the attack.

The US blamed the Syrian government for launching the attack, but Russia claimed that the victims were killed by toxic agents released from a rebel chemical arsenal hit by Syrian planes.


Earlier today Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said an alleged poison gas attack blamed on his government last week in Idlib province was ‘100 per cent fabrication’.
Assad also said Syria’s military had given up all chemical weapons, AFP said on its Twitter account, quoting remarks in an interview with the Syrian president.
The United States and its allies say the Syrian military carried out the attack, something Syria has already denied.

Metro

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