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Backed SDF say attacked by Russian jets in east Syria

Backed SDF say attacked by Russian jets in east Syria

The Russian warning underscored growing tensions over Syria between Moscow and Washington.

One of Russia's top generals in Syria has been killed in an attack by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), with Moscow blaming the US for his death as it battles to defeat the jihadist cult in its last stronghold in the country.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry released the aerial images of Daesh deployment sites north of Syria's Deir ez-Zor, where the equipment of US Army Special Forces is clearly visible but without any signs of previous fighting between the sides.

A spokesman for the US-led coalition, Colonel Ryan Dillon, said rounds had hit in the area around the SDF but he could not confirm they were fired by Russian Federation.

He added: "Fire points in those areas will be immediately suppressed with all military means".

Previously, the US-led coalition had downed Iranian drones in the area, considering them hostile because they dropped ammunition near a base where United States troops operated alongside allied Syrian opposition fighters. For operational security, we do not comment on ongoing operations or the current positions of Coalition personnel and our partner forces, ” the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve said.

The Russian Defense Ministry on Monday denied a media report that Russian warplanes had struck USA -backed and Kurdish-led militia in the vicinity of a gas field in Syria.

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Dillon, addressing a Pentagon briefing, disclosed few details, including who participated in the meeting or its precise location.

That led USA and Russian generals to hold a first face-to-face meeting last week in an effort to avoid accidental clashes and prevent a direct confrontation between the two sides. The photos show several Cougar infantry vehicles, Hummer armored vehicles, and tents.

Iran, a strong backer of the Syrian government, needs Deir al-Zour to secure a land corridor from Tehran to its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah.

Colonel Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the USA -led coalition, has denied that Washington was racing with Moscow over Deir al-Zor.

The advances against Islamic State have brought USA -backed forces and the Syrian government side, backed by Russian Federation and Iran, into close proximity. While both oppose ISIL, they are engaged, via proxies, in a race for strategic influence and potential resources in the form of oilfields in Deir al-Zor Province.

US-backed Syrian fighters captured the country's largest gas field from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in an eastern province that borders Iraq as they race with government forces to capture the energy-rich region, a senior official with the group said.

According to Russia's Defence Ministry, Russia lost ten people in Syria in 2017.

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