The US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group denied Monday its planes carried out air strikes that killed at least three Syrian regime troops a day earlier.
"We\’ve seen those Syrian reports but we did not conduct any strikes in that part of Deir Ezzor yesterday. So we see no evidence," said Colonel Steve Warren, spokesman for the coalition.
He said the coalition\’s only strikes in Deir Ezzor on Sunday were some 55 kilometres (34 miles) southeast of the area where the troops were allegedly killed, near the town of Ayyash.
"We struck 55 km away from the area that the Syrians say was struck. That was the only area in Deir Ezzor we struck yesterday," he told AFP.
"There were no human beings in the area that we struck yesterday, all we struck was a wellhead," he added.
The Syrian government said on Monday four warplanes from the U.S.-led coalition bombed a Syrian army camp in Deir al Zor province, which would be the first known attack by the coalition against government forces.
Three soldiers were killed and 13 wounded the Syrian government said. It called the attack an act of aggression.
The jets fired nine missiles at the camp on Sunday evening, Syria\’s foreign ministry said in a statement flashed on state television. It is the first publicly declared incident of its type since the United States and allied countries began bombing the militant group Islamic State in Syria more than a year ago.
Syria\’s foreign ministry sent letters to the U.N. secretary general and to the head of the U.N. Security Council condemning the "flagrant aggression … which goes firmly against the aims of the U.N. charter," state news agency SANA said.
It urged the United Nations to take "immediate action and take the necessary measures to prevent a repeat" of the incident.
A monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reported earlier that jets likely to be from the coalition that is targeting Islamic State hit an army camp in Deir al-Zor province, killing four Syrian army personnel.
The foreign ministry said three armored vehicles, four military cars and a weapons cache and ammunition had been destroyed in the air strikes.
The strikes "confirm once again that the American coalition lacks the seriousness and trust (needed) to fight terrorism in an effective way," it said, according to SANA.
The U.S.-led coalition first launched air strikes against Islamic State in Syria in September 2014, after beginning aerial operations against the group in Iraq the previous month.
Its strikes have regularly targeted Deir al Zor province in eastern Syria, most of which is held by Islamic State, including oilfields that are a source of income for the group.
Russia is waging its own aerial campaign in support of President Bashar al-Assad, which has hit some Islamic State targets, but the United States and its allies say most of the Russian raids have hit other foreign-backed rebel groups.
SOURCE: REUTERS AND AFP