Coalition Halts Airstrike in Progress Against Possible Syrian Military Position
TAMPA, Fla. --
Coalition officials halted an airstrike in progress today against an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant fighting position in Syria they had been tracking for “a significant amount of time before the strike” when Russian officials told them it was possible the personnel and vehicles targeted were part of the Syrian military, U.S. Central Command officials said.
The location of the strike, south of Dayr Az Zawr, is in an area the coalition has struck in the past, Centcom officials said, and coalition members in the Combined Air Operations Center had earlier informed Russian counterparts of the upcoming strike.
“It is not uncommon for the Coalition Air Operations Center to confer with Russian officials as a professional courtesy and to deconflict coalition and Russian aircraft, although such contact is not required by the current U.S.- Russia Memorandum of Understanding on safety of flight,” officials said in a statement.
“Syria is a complex situation with various military forces and militias in close proximity, but coalition forces would not intentionally strike a known Syrian military unit,” officials said in the statement. “The coalition will review this strike and the circumstances surrounding it to see if any lessons can be learned.”