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U.S.-Backed Force In Syria Says Hit In Russian Air Strike


A U.S.-made military vehicle used by the Syrian Democratic Forces drives through an eastern area of the embattled Syrian city of Raqqa last month.

A U.S.-backed force fighting Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria has accused Russian jets of bombing its fighters in the Deir al-Zor Province, the last major IS stronghold in the war-torn country.

The command of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-Arab alliance supported by Washington, said in a September 16 statement that bombing by Russian warplanes earlier in the day injured six of its fighters.

The United States and Russia back separate military offensives in the Syrian war, both of which are advancing against IS forces in the east of the country near Iraq.

"Our forces east of the Euphrates were hit with an attack from the Russian aircraft and Syrian regime forces, targeting our units in the industrial zone," the SDF statement said.

Syria is embroiled in a six-year civil war, with Russia and Iran backing President Bashar al-Assad, while the United States and Turkey support varying rebel groups opposed to the Damascus government.

IS fighters, who captured large swathes of Syrian territory in 2014, are opposed by all sides and are being driven from most of their strongholds by separate government and rebel campaigns.

There was no immediate comment from officials in Moscow on the incident, though AFP cited a Russian military spokesman in Syria as denying that Russia was responsible.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP
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