dglobalnews.com Led coalition says Daesh targets hit in Syrian town
Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
Global Media | By Cecelia Webb

Led coalition says Daesh targets hit in Syrian town

Syrian, Russia, U.S. and coalition aircraft all fly in the increasingly crowded skies over Syria.

"When they don't need certain things any more, we'll replace those with something they do need", said Mattis, who is expected to meet with his Turkish defense counterpart during a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting later this week in Brussels.

The White House also issued a warning to Syrian President Bashar Assad late Monday that claimed the US had "potential" evidence that Syria was preparing for another chemical weapons attack.

"If we are responsible for any civilian casualties we come forth and admit it", he said.

"The United States has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children", Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement. Pro-Assad forces backed by Russian Federation and Iran also have a presence in the area, close to where Syria's borders converge with those of Jordan and Iraq.

Mattis also acknowledged that the US would continue to supply Kurdish forces in the north with weapons despite objections by USA ally Turkey.

But the U.S. involvement in Syria has also become increasingly complex.

"We are very clear the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime is absolutely abhorrent and the last time the United States took action to deal with the aircraft and airbase from which these chemical weapons were used we fully supported their strike", Fallon told the BBC. Assad denied any such attack.

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Mattis did not address the nature of the intelligence or White House warning as he flew to Europe for a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting, but said the USA was not going to get pulled into the conflict between the regime and the armed opposition. Still, on June 18, a U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down a Syrian Sukhoi Su-22 bomber that attacked U.S. -backed rebel forces.

Following the shooting down of the Syrian jet, Russian Federation said it would treat US aircraft west of the Euphrates as "targets", but since the threats USA aircraft have continued to operate on both sides of the river without apparent incident.

ISIS is an alternative acronym for the Islamic State group.

Pro-Assad forces are seeking to maintain a strategic stronghold in southern Syria as they prepare for the anticipated struggle after the fall of ISIS's capital in the town of Raqqa - the fight to retake control of the fertile Euphrates River Valley. The Turkish government is concerned that the USA arms and equipment given to the YPG will end up in the hands of the PKK.

Washington is backing a Kurdish-Arab alliance besieging Raqqa from the southeast and west.

The coalition said it had carried out strikes on known IS targets in the town on Sunday and Monday - the day the Observatory said the prison was hit, killing 57 people.

'As we have previously stated, the United States is in Syria to eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

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