Pentagon concerned about Syrian regime airstrikes on Kurdish areas

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Kurdish fighters of the YPG are seen near Tishreen Dam as they participate in the SDF-led operations against ISIS in northern Aleppo province. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

ERBIL – The Syrian regime would be well-advised not to interfere with coalition forces or the Kurdish forces backed against ISIS militants, the Defense Department spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said on Friday.

U.S. planes were scrambled on Wednesday over northeastern Syria after two Syrian air force SU-24 attack planes conducted strikes near Hasakah while coalition forces were conducting operations there, the US department of defense said in a statement.

Fierce clashes were taking place today in Hasakah’s city centre, while the Syrian regime continued its air strikes on Kurdish-held areas despite US warnings. 

“It troubles us when we see …regime airstrikes in Hasakah in an area where it’s well known by everybody, to include the [Bashar al-Assad] regime, that the coalition is actively engaged in operations against [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said during a briefing in the Pentagon.

According to the defence spokesperson this is first time U.S. planes have been scrambled in response to Syrian bombing, and the coalition has never before seen the Assad regime take such action against the mainly Kurdish YPG.

The coalition made clear to the Russians to pass along to the Syrians that U.S. aircraft would defend troops on the ground if threatened, the captain said. Although US special forces were in the area, they were not affected by the air strikes.

Davis said more U.S. combat air patrols have been sent to the area to ensure the safety of forces on the ground.

“As we’ve said in the past, the Syrian regime would be well-advised not to interfere with coalition forces or our partners.”

Speaking to ARA News, Heval Bahoz, a member of the SDF-forces, said on Friday that at 1.30 regime jets hit close to the SDF building near lunch time. “But thank God, no one got injured,” he said.

He also said that regime airstrikes stopped due to intervention of coalition planes. “Thanks to uncle Obama,” Bahoz said.

Nevertheless, regime strikes and artillery shelling continued on Friday.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg

Source: ARA News

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