US-led coalition reportedly targets pro-Damascus forces again

The US-led coalition carried out airstrikes on Monday to impede the advance of pro-Damascus forces towards Syria’s oil-rich city of Deir ez-Zor, the Anadolu agency reported, citing local sources. Both Syria and the US have yet to comment on the fresh reports.

According to the sources, which preferred to remain anonymous, pro-government forces have reportedly captured 22 areas in a bid to take back energy resources in the rebel-held city, but had to retreat, however, because of the US shelling.

Earlier this week, the US-led coalition debunked reports on having launched airstrikes in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor.

“There were no reported Coalition strikes conducted in Syria on Feb. 25, 2018. Nor have there been any reported Coalition strikes in the area you reference in the past 72 hours. The Coalition makes every effort to minimize civilian casualties and damage to civilian property to the greatest extent possible,” the coalition said.

Earlier in February, the US-led coalition conducted what it described as “defensive airstrikes” against pro-government forces in response to an alleged attack against the headquarters of the Syrian Democratic Forces. The airstrikes killed at least 100 pro-Damascus troops, with the country’s government denouncing the attack as a “new act of aggression that constitutes a war crime and a crime against humanity.”