UPDATE: The US-led coalition claimed that its patrol returned fire in response to an attack and denied conducting an airstrike.
?On 8/17, @CJTFOIR & @cmoc_sdf, conducting a routine anti-ISIS security patrol near Tal Al-Zahab, encountered a checkpoint occupied by pro-Syrian regime forces…the patrol [was attacked]. Coalition troops returned fire in self-defense. No Coalition casualties. Full Statement ?? pic.twitter.com/3qWFrZh1wR
— OIR Spokesman Col. Myles B. Caggins III (@OIRSpox) August 17, 2020
On August 17, an attack helicopter (allegedly AH-64 Apache) struck positions of the Syrian Army at Tal al-Dhahab, southeast of the city of Qamishli in the province of al-Hasakah.
According to state-run news agency SANA, a soldier was killed and two others were injured. Pro-government sources claim that the strike became a result of tensions between Syrian forces and the US military in the area. The Syrian Army and pro-government locals allegedly blocked the US military convoy at the checkpoint and the US-led coalition responded with a strike.
If this version is confirmed, this will become a dangerous precedent. Over the past months, both the Russian Military Police and the US military have repeatedly blocked each others’ convoys. Also, checkpoints of the Syrian Army often became invincible obstacles for US forces. The decision to use the force in such ‘games’ by the US-led coalition may mark the start of a new round of tensions in northeastern Syria. However, this time these tensions will involve not the Syrian Army and Turkey, but the Syrian Army and the United States.
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