Russia Bombed US-Backed Coalition Fighters in Syria

Syrian army captures Palmyra's ancient citadel

Russian aircraft mistakenly struck USA -backed forces in northern Syria, a us general said Wednesday.

An image taken from video footage and released by Russia's Defense Ministry on August 18, 2016, shows a Russian fighter-bomber dropping bombs in Syria.

Russian and Syrian aircraft bombed positions held by the US-backed Syrian Arab Coalition near the Syrian town of al Bab on Tuesday, inflicting casualties, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said on Wednesday.

The report also claim that at the time of the attack, the U.S. Forces were four or five kilometers away and as soon as the attacks happened, they contacted the Russians and the Russians ceased.

"Some quick calls were made through our deconfliction channels and the Russians acknowledged and stopped bombing there", Townsend said. "It's very hard and complicated". Last month, they mistakenly bombed Turkish soldiers near the city, killing three.

Townsend said the Syrian Arab Coalition fighters suffered casualties but declined to say how many or whether there were fatalities.

Syrian army captures Palmyra's ancient citadel

The general sought to tamp down tensions, saying that "the coalition is encouraged" by the progress against ISIS by the Turkish military and their proxies.

Townsend told reporters that he believed the Russians and Syrians had thought that the villages were held by Islamic State forces.

Earlier Wednesday, a USA commander accused Russian and Syrian jets of bombing US-backed fighters in Syria.

Townsend said the United States is "still in decision-making stages" as to whether or not join the SDF assault on Raqqa "and what equipment they might need".

To avoid mishaps in the air the US and Russian militaries are notifying each side about where they are operating, but they are not coordinating by sharing intelligence and targeting information.

"There were US forces in the area", he added.

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