Underscoring that the air raid on the Syrian Army was not a coincidence (the government troops were pounding Daesh), Assad said in in interview with Serbia’s Politika newspaper, as quoted by Syrian news agency Sana Thursday:

 

US jet

 

“It was premeditated attack by the American forces, because ISIS [Daesh] was shrinking because of the Syrian and Russian and Iranian cooperation against ISIS [Daesh], and because al-Nusra which is al-Qaeda-affiliated group had been defeated in many areas in Syria, so the Americans wanted to undermine the position of the Syrian Army; they attacked our army in Deir ez-Zor.”

 

US warplanes hit Syrian government troops near the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor on September 17, leaving over 80 people killed. The Pentagon said initially that the airstrike was a mistake and targeted Daesh militants, while a number of Syrian officials stated that the attack was intentional.

 

He added that the attack on a large area near Deir ez-Zor airport lasted for over an hour and was accompanied by “many raids.”

 

“So, it was a premeditated attack in order to allow IS [Daesh] to take that position, and IS [Daesh] attacked those hills, and took those hills right away in less than one hour after the attack,” Assad reiterated.

 

Britain, Australia and Denmark confirmed their air forces’ participation in the deadly airstrikes.