US Won't Engage In Syrian Civil War - Mattis

Syrian regime may attack Kurdish-led forces again in Deir al-Zor SDF

A United States official said late Wednesday that more than 100 forces loyal to Bashar Assad, were killed in the attack by the US-backed SDF in Deir Ezzor province.

In a press release, the US -led coalition described the February 7 attack as "unprovoked", noting that the Assad forces targeted a "well- established Syrian Democratic Forces headquarters" in Syria's Deir ez-Zor province.

"Syrian pro-regime forces included approximately 500 personnel in a large, dismounted formation supported by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems, and mortars", a US military official said, according to Radio Free Europe.

The coalition's counter-attack killed more than 100 regime forces, Reuters reported, but a Syrian commander said that only seven were killed and 27 were injured.

According to the Associated Press, the Russian military said the US -led airstrike "again showed that the U.S.is maintaining its illegal presence in Syria not to fight the Islamic State group, but to seize and hold Syrian economic assets".

Why did the pro-government forces attack?

In particular, coalition has accused allied forces of regime of Bashar al-Assad to attack on Wednesday a FDS located just eight kilometres from agreed line to separate both fronts in Euphrates valley.

One official said that assessment is based on information obtained from monitoring communications in the area and from drone surveillance.

Regime forces were likely attempting to take an oilfield near Khusham.

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"We are not looking for a conflict with the regime", she added. Syrian forces control the western side of the line, and the SDF controls the eastern side of the line.

Meanwhile, Turkish officials said the leaders of Turkey, Russia and Iran will meet in Istanbul to discuss peace efforts for Syria.

"You've all seen how we reacted to that", Mattis said, referring to last year's cruise missile strikes.

Pro-Syrian government fighters had alleged tried to take and area that is being controlled by the SDF forces east of the River Euphrates since it liberated the region from the Islamic State in September 2017.

Before the USA counter-attack began, American military officials called their Russian counterparts on a pre-established hotline to voice concern about the build-up. "Russian officials assured Coalition officials they would not engage Coalition forces in the vicinity".

Assad regime forces hit the headquarters of the Syrian Democratic Forces.

The United States maintains about 2,000 troop in Syria, mostly working with the estimated 50,000 Syrian Democratic Forces. The U.S. has sent a strong signal with this response, indicating that it intends to remain engaged in Syria and that it will not back down in the face of the Syrian military and its backers.

US Marines firing a howitzer in Syria.

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