World / US and Canada

Pentagon says coalition airstrike may have struck Syrian military

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-09-18 04:59

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon said on Saturday a US-led coalition airstrike against the Islamic State may have unintentionally targeted Syrian government forces.

"Coalition forces believed they were striking a Daesh fighting position," said a Pentagon statement, referring to the extremist group in its Arabic acronym.

"The coalition air strike was halted immediately when coalition officials were informed by Russian officials that it was possible the personnel and vehicles targeted were part of the Syrian military," said the statement.

The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier Saturday the US-led coalition killed 62 Syrian government troops and injured some 100 others in a round of airstrikes in eastern Syria's province of Deir al-Zour.

"Today, in areas close to the Deir al-Zour Airport, the aircraft from the international anti-Islamic State coalition carried out four airstrikes against units of the Syrian government troops surrounded by terrorists," the ministry's spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.

The warplanes entered the airspace of Syria from the Iraqi border, the spokesman said.

Syria's national TV also confirmed the killing of Syrian servicemen by the US-led coalition.

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