On Sunday night, an airstrike in the eastern Syrian city of Deir el-Zour left three soldiers dead and another 13 wounded. In response, the Syrian government wrote a letter to the United Nations in which it squarely accused four coalition aircraft for the attack, and blamed the US for a blatant "act of aggression."
"This hampers efforts to combat terrorism and proves once again that this coalition lacks seriousness and credibility to effectively fight terrorism," the letter reads, according to the Associated Press.
The US has fervently denied the claim, insisting that coalition aircraft at the time were targeting oil wells 34 miles from the site of the army camp.
"We did not strike any vehicles or personnel targets in this area," a statement from the coalition reads. "We have no indication any Syrian soldiers were even near our strikes."
But denial wasn’t Washington’s only strategy for dealing with the allegations. The Pentagon has also begun blaming the airstrike on Russia.
According to a US military official speaking on condition of anonymity to Reuters, the US is “certain” that Russia was responsible for the strike.
The Russian Defense Ministry has not responded to those comments at this time.
Syria’s claims are supported by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Based on the testimony of activists in the region, the Observatory reports that the strikes were “believed” to have been carried out by the coalition.
Even Daesh, also known as ISIL/the Islamic State, posted comments on its Facebook page which seem to corroborate Syria’s claims. The terrorist group claims that coalition aircraft were seen flying toward territory controlled by the Syrian government, where loud explosions were heard.
By comparison, Russian airstrikes have fastidiously targeted Daesh positions. Moscow has also repeatedly called for the international community to work with the legitimate government of Bashar al-Assad in countering the terrorist threat. Bombing that government would make little sense.
"An effective fight against these dangers is only possible on the platform of a united coalition and a full coordination of our joint actions," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said of Russian airstrikes earlier this year, according to AP.
"We believe that international terrorism, in particular ISIL, which has effectively occupied a sizeable part of Syria and Iraq, poses an equal threat to all of us, all the nations."
This isn’t the first time that US-led coalition airstrikes against Daesh have been less than accurate. The Observatory also reports that strikes aimed at supporting Kurdish fighters in Hassakeh province killed 26 people, including seven children and four women.
The US has also refused to take full responsibility for the bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, which left 22 staffers dead. On Monday, the organization announced a final push to establish an independent investigation into the incident.
The Pentagon may be “certain” it was a Russian strike, but the US seems to be alone in that assessment.