Syria: 95 Iranian troops killed in US-led coalition airstrike in al-Hari – US denies
Syrian state media reported Monday that an airstrike against ‘pro-government’ forces in the far east of the country killed 38 troops, while local sources claim that more than 95 Iranian troops were killed in al-Hari.
The Syrian state TV report said the airstrike occurred around midnight in the village of al-Hari, to the southeast of the border town of Boukamal, and was carried out by the U.S.-led coalition battling ISIS. But a coalition spokesman said it had not carried out any strikes in the area.
UPDATE: “Strike in Syria was carried out by Israel, and not by the US or the coalition fighting ISIS”, US official told CNN on Monday.
In Baghdad, Iraqi officials said Popular Mobilization Forces — the mostly Shiite state-sanctioned paramilitaries — came under attack south of the town of Qaim, just across the border from Boukamal. They said 20 fighters were killed and dozens were wounded, adding that the cause of the attack was not immediately clear. The Iraqi officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
U.S. military spokesman Col. Sean Ryan said the coalition was looking into the reports.
“We are aware of the strike near Boukamal, however there have been no strikes by U.S. or coalition forces in that area,” he said. “We’re looking into who that could possibly be but it wasn’t the U.S. or the coalition.”
Syrian and Iraqi forces have driven ISIS terrorists from virtually all the territory it once held in both countries, but the terrorists still control some remote areas along the border.
Syrian troops and allied militias, backed by Russian airstrikes, have been conducting operations west of the Euphrates River, while the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led militia, is operating on the eastern banks. The U.S.-led coalition has struck pro-government forces in the past when they have tried to cross the river. The overnight attacks took place on the western side.