first published on February 8, 2018 by Will
Following a pro-Syrian government offensive carried out by Russian-backed troops against SDF units with embedded US personnel, the Americans responded with airstrikes and artillery, killing an estimated 100 fighters.
Just hours before the attack, a Russian reconnaissance plane was spotted flying over the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. Then, came the attack.
According to Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman US Army Col. Thomas Veale, around 500 pro-Assad fighters initiated an attack that involved artillery, mortars, and tanks “in what appears to be a coordinated attack on Syrian Democratic Forces… 20 to 30 artillery and tank rounds landed within 500 meters.”
The US Coalition’s response was swift and overwhelming. F-22 Raptors, F-15 Strike Eagles, and MQ-9 Reaper drones pulverized attackers’ positions. In addition to the aerial onslaught, a US High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) unit vaporized enemy mortar and artillery sites.
The US believes the attackers were attempting to capture the Khusham oil fields that the SDF had previously captured from ISIS. The US also claims that Russian “contractors” were leading the offensive as advisors to the pro-Assad troops. It is believed that some of these contractors were killed in the US defensive strikes.