WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — President Donald Trump wrote in a letter to the US Congress on Monday that since the last periodic update report, the US Armed Forces participating in the anti-Daesh campaign in Syria have undertaken "a limited number of strikes against Syrian government and pro-Syrian government forces."
"These strikes were lawful measures to counter immediate threats to the United States and partner forces engaged in that campaign," Trump wrote.
Comprised of more than 70 members, the US-led coalition has conducted airstrikes, as well as ground-based and rocket-propelled artillery fire against Daesh in Syria and Iraq, with the strikes in the Arab Republic not being authorized by the UN Security Council or Damascus, which has repeatedly protested against what it calls "aggression."
While the US usually refrained from striking the Syrian Army fighting against terrorists, Trump previously ordered a massive strike with Tomahawk missiles on a government forces' air base, using a chemical incident in Idlib province as a pretext for the attack, blaming Damascus for the attack even prior to the launch of an investigation. The Syrian government has strongly denied responsibility for the chemical weapons attack, emphasizing that Damascus has not had such arms since 2014.
The Syrian government has repeatedly criticized the coalition's operations over civilian casualties, while the Russian Defense Ministry has recently accused Operation Inherent Resolve of "carpet bombings," particularly in Raqqa.