SYRIA- The Military Times reports the Syrian military charged Saturday that U.S.-led coalition aircraft had struck a Syrian army base in an attack that the Russian defense ministry said killed 62 Syrian soldiers
The U.S. military said late Saturday that the coalition had halted an air raid against the Islamic State group in eastern Syria after being told by Russia that it might have struck Syrian government forces.
The Syrian General command charged that the U.S.-led strike in the al-Tharda Mountains around the Deir El-Zour airport in eastern Syria “paved the way for Islamic State terrorists to attack the position and take control of it.”
It said the attack showed that the U.S. and its allies were not in fact interested in fighting terrorism.
In Moscow, Russia ‘s Defense Ministry spokesman, Major-General Igor Konashenkov, citing the Syrian General Command, said 62 LSyrian soldies wree killed and over 100 injured, the state-backed RT.com reports.
Konashenkov said the aircraft that carried out the bombings — two F-16 jet fightersand two A-10 support aircraft — had entered Syrian airspace from Iraqi territory.
Even if the bombardment of the Syrian government troops was a mistake, the spokesman said, it is still a consequence of Washington’s unwillingness to coordinate its anti-terror efforts with Moscow.
The Fatah al-Sham Front, linked to al-Qaeda and previously known as the Nusra Front, is deeply embedded in rebel-held areas and fights alongside more moderate groups, the report said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday questioned the U.S. commitment to the shaky, week-old cease-fire, suggesting that Washington wasn’t prepared to break with “terrorist elements” battling Assad’s forces.
Both sides have alleged dozens of violations, and aid convoys have been unable to enter rebel-held parts of the northern city of Aleppo — a key opposition demand.
Washington has warned Russia that unless aid is delivered to Aleppo, it will not move ahead with the formation of the joint coordination center.
The Interfax news agency quoted Col. Sergei Kopytsin as saying Saturday that mortar fire and homemade rockets struck Aleppo 26 times. Russian news agencies cited another official, Lt. Gen. Vladimir Savchenko, as saying there had been 55 violations throughout the country. Syria’s state news agency SANA said insurgents have violated the cease-fire 12 times in the last 12 hours. No casualties were reported.