Syria Daily: US — 100+ Pro-Assad Fighters Killed in Attack on Kurdish-Led SDF

Troops of the Syrian Democratic Forces in northeast Syria (File)

US acknowledges first deliberate airstrikes on pro-Assad forces in Syria’s 83-month conflict


UPDATE 2030 GMT: Ongoing Russia-regime airstrikes on Idlib Province in northwest Syria have taken the lives of three White Helmets rescuers — Ahmad Khattab, Mustafa Bakour, and Dirar Besserini — in an attack on the group’s headquarters in Khan Sheikhoun.

Five more volunteers were wounded.

The casualty toll in East Ghouta near Damascus since Monday has now passed 1,000 — 220 killed and more than 800 wounded.

UPDATE 0915 GMT: Syrian State outlet SANA has acknowledged the loss of pro-Assad troops, but failed to note that it was a response by the US and the Syrian Democratic Forces to an attack by the pro-Assad forces.

In a brief entry, SANA said that “popular forces” were targeted by the “international coalition”, with “scores of persons dead and others injured”.

More than 100 pro-Assad fighters have been killed in eastern Syria after they launched a large attack on the US-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, according to an American official.

After months of a frontline with the SDF in Deir ez-Zor Province, following the defeat of Islamic State units, the pro-Assad force carried out its first major attack late Wednesday and early Thursday. The assault was reportedly near the village of Khisham and a Conoco gas plant controlled by the SDF.

The US official said 500 opposing forces, backed by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems, and mortars were involved. Later reports from the US military said the counterattack included AC-130 gunships, F-15 and F-22 warplanes, Army Apache helicopter gunships, and Marine Corps artillery in a three-hour confrontation.

A pro-Assad social media account, often promoting links with regime forces, tweeted about the battle:

An hour later, the activist changed the narrative to say the pro-Assad militias were defending against SDF “infiltration”:

The official simply said that US-led coalition and local forces repelled the assault. However, US Central Command confirmed aerial operations: “In defense of Coalition and partner forces, the Coalition conducted strikes against attacking forces to repel the act of aggression against partners engaged in the Global Coalition’s defeat-Daesh [ISIS] mission.”

The US official added, “Coalition officials were in regular communication with Russian counterparts before, during and after the thwarted attack.”

Neither the Assad regime nor Russian officials have yet commented on the incident. However, earlier on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov asserted:

It’s very likely that the Americans have taken a course of dividing the country. They just gave up their assurances, given to us, that the only goal of their presence in Syria – without an invitation of the legitimate government – was to defeat Islamic State and the terrorists.

The US has never before carried out deliberate strikes on pro-Assad fighters; however, US attacks in September 2016 —
intended against ISIS — accidentally hit Assad regime troops, killing scores.

The Islamic State was removed from all its major positions in eastern Syria, including Deir ez-Zor city, in autumn 2017 by a combination of pro-Assad and SDF offensives. As the new frontlines were established, there were sporadic pro-Assad attacks on the SDF along the Euphrates River, including at least one Russian airstrike; however, they never escalated to sustained battles.

UN Again Expresses Concern Over Russia-Regime Attacks on Civilians, as 100s Dead and Wounded in Idlib and East Ghouta

The Un has again expressed concern over the mass killing of civilians in Idlib Province in northwest Syria by Russian and Assad regime attacks.

Jan Egeland, overseeing UN humanitarian operations, wrote on Wednesday:

Russia and the regime have stepped up airstrikes on Idlib, almost all of which has been held by the opposition since spring 2015, in recent weeks. Hundreds of civilians have been killed or wounded, and at least nine medical facilities have been knocked out of service this week.

Idlib has an estimated 2.5 million residents. An estimated 300,000 have moved from southern to northern Idlib amid a pro-Assad offensive which has re-entered the southeast of the province.

A pro-Assad outlet reframes the attacks on civilian areas as “strategic and interdiction sorties” in which “Russian warplanes and cruise missile [are] targeting militant movements and gatherings”.

Hundreds have also been killed or injured in the besieged East Ghouta area near Damascus as pro-Assad forces try — unsuccessfully so far — to overrun opposition territory.

See Syria Daily, Feb 7: UN Calls for Ceasefire But No Sign of Halt in Russia-Regime Attacks

Local civil defense reported more than 20 residents killed by air and artillery strikes on Wednesday, following the slaying of 80 people on Tuesday.

“For these past two days, you can smell death everywhere,” Hamed Hassan, a resident of Douma, said on Wednesday.

Civil defense says air and artillery strikes have killed more than 250 East Ghouta residents and injured more than 1000 since December 29.

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  1. Assad, from the comfort of his palace, tries another sneaky transgression of the NFZ, like he has been doing with his progressive sarin attacks all throughout the war. Thinking that he can get away with it. But not this time. He who controls the air, calls the shots. And Assad was counting on Putin to come to his aid. Hopefully this will put an end to his bluster.

  2. hahahahahahahahahahaha. Yes, I am celebrating the death of savages. Sweets to everyone! Even erdogan, who is too chicken shit to fly planes, because his master Putin won’t let him.. lololololololololol so much turkish bluster!

    • Islamics are all bluster. It is a culture of bluster and honour. A culture of backwardness. All designed to fool the locals and perpetuate the rulership based on some idealism.

  3. Anarchist hacker Amir Taaki says bitcoin’s boom means it’s on the verge of a collapse:

    What have you been reading?

    History, philosophy, sociology.

    Any stand-out authors?

    Yeah, Abdullah Öcalan. I think Abdullah Öcalan is the greatest thinker of this century and everybody needs to start studying his books. He is the leader of the movement in Rojava, of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party). His books really analyze and talk about human society and give us the way forward to realize a free humanity.

    • High-tech post-moderns casting their abstract fantasies into syria:

      What is cryptocurrency’s role in Rojava?

      Bitcoin as the currency of a revolutionary project, of a revolutionary nation, following an anarchist ideology. I can’t think of a more perfect fit for bitcoin”

  4. Its rather enjoyable to listen to the Assad regime cry massacre. Too bad we didn’t completely wipe out the attacking force.

    Anyone able to find pics?

  5. This attack once again shows that US can easily stop regime when she wants. So unlike the US apologists’ claims it is not the leftists that stop US from stopping the massacres at the west of Euphrates. It is simply because US prefers regime over the Islamists and hence left the dirty job of crushing the rebellion to Russia. US is as guilty as Russia for the civilian losses.

    • Why exactly must the US do everything? Why can’t Turkey stop the massacres? Are they not right next door unlike the US? Is Turkey too cowardly or what? It’s pretty cowardly to continually call on others to fight your battles for you then act salty and bitchy when they don’t do exactly what you want. Using your brilliant logic I guess Turkey is even more responsible than the US for the massacres. Guess ole Erdogan is too busy slaughtering kurds.

      • because of speeches like this, which made the syrians wrongly think that us would protect them when they rebelled against the regime.

        For your question why can’t turkey stop the massacres the answer is obvious turkey does not have the means required but the US has. Lend your military to for some months and it will be over :)

        • Any idiot would know that Hillary does not call the shots in 2011, but it was Obama. In fact she departed State in 2012. Hillary championed Libya but Obama was dead set against Libyan intervention until Sarkozy and the Europeans convinced Obama to stop blocking. But with the chaos that followed Libya (thanks to the Arab culture of backwardness), Obama and his leftist clique had no appetite for Syria. If the Syrians did not understand this, then it is their own problem that they don’t understand world politics, and instead feed on conspiracy theory..

    • haha, oh please US, come save us! Meanwhile, we will talk shit about you at every opportunity and openly express our hatred towards you. Such the typical broken islamist mind. Your stain on humanity should be wiped out for good.

      Keep slaughtering kurds to make yourself feel better. Oh wait, its about 2 weeks now? and how much progress? So much for all that shit talk

    • What nonsense. The US never condoned the Russian massacre of civilians. It is one thing to defeat Assad’s mercenaries, and another thing to get into a major war with Russia where nuclear weapons are the last resort. How is it that Erdochicken never challenged the Russians or even Assad, and in fact tried to derail the rebellion in Syria by aiding ISIS and Nusra?

      Any incursion by the US in Assad territory will result in massive “Stop War” protests against “US imperialism” by the leftists. After all, they are on the side of Russians and national socialist Assad, and don’t give a hoot for Syrian lives. US had the opportunity to put a stop to Assad back in 2011. But the leftists in the white house decided that would be another “Iraqi invasion”.

      • Same stories again and again. It is funny you still saying any incursion in assad territory while US is already occupying a large chunk of syrian territory.

        • yes you again… so sad… Correction, US is not occupying any syrian territory. US is occupying ISIS territory. Wasn’t taken from the Syrian government, thus it wasn’t Syrian anymore. There you go again, with your broken mentality. Its the US fault! waaaaa, oh please save us US!

          • The US has been creating chaos in the MENA region for the past decades Matt, a really pernicious and destructive influence that seems never-ending.

            • There you go again, so how is it the US’s fault for what is happening in Syria? Substitute Iran for US in your statement above, and it would be closer to reality.

              • “how is it the US’s fault for what is happening in Syria”

                Ohh I guess that maybe the United States trying to topple the syrian regime by funneling several thousand tons of weapons to soi-disant “rebels” has something to do with that…

              • confusing the US with Turkey or Iran, again? Its pretty well known that the US efforts were minimal and mostly failed. But that won’t stop you from blaming the US for anything at every opportunity. Praise be the United States of Allah!

              • @Bs As — no such evidence of “several thousand tons of weapons”. And the WWII era ATGMs are not very effective. Turkey and Qatar have been supplying a lot more than the US.

              • Turkey and Qatar are not superpowers intended to be moral compasses to guide the overall western hemisphere.

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