USA airstrikes target pro-Assad forces in Syria

United States warplanes have struck pro-Syrian government forces that were said to pose a threat to American troops and allied rebels operating near the border with Jordan.

Although one of CNN's sources said it remained unknown whether the American planes only fired warning shots, a second us defense official said an airstrike "did hit the convoy after the vehicles continued toward the base".

The incident took place as pro-government forces reportedly entered one of the recently implemented de-escalation zones in Homs province, where they allegedly clashed with the US-backed Maghawir Al-Thawra militant group (formerly known as "New Syrian Army").

It wasn't clear to CBS News on Thursday why the vehicles had breached the zone, but Giglio reported that the US strikes may have destroyed "regime and pro-regime militia vehicles".

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov also said the strikes had targeted "the Syrian armed forces".

Since they appeared defensive in nature, Thursday's strikes did not suggest a shift in the USA military's focus in Syria, which has been on battling Islamic State militants.

This was not the first time the US-led coalition intentionally or accidentally struck the Syrian army fighting against Daesh. Special forces are training Syrian militias at the base, Martin reported.

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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes killed eight people "most of them non-Syrian" and destroyed four vehicles.

The statement stressed that the Syrian army will continue the war on the terrorist groups and the USA attack will not terrorize the army from continuing the battles on terrorism.

USA commanders became concerned when they saw tanks, bulldozers and other heavy equipment advance into a "de-confliction" zone without authorization near a base where US forces were located, according to the officials, who spoke about the incident after requesting anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

The statement said the USA claims that they have warned the forces from advancing before firing are completely rejected.

Russian Federation condemned the strike as "illegitimate" and said it could harm efforts to fight Islamic State group (IS) jihadists.

United States defence secretary General James Mattis denied the destruction of the convoy, which included a number of tanks, marked an escalation of America's intervention in Syria.

Media reports suggested that Syrian rebels have voiced concerns over the Syrian army getting "too close" to the US Special Forces' base in At Tanf.

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