17:41 GMT +330 March 2017
    Syrian Army Repels Daesh Attack Near Deir ez-Zor Airbase

    Strike on Syrian Army Result of 'Unintentional, Regrettable Error' - Pentagon

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    The Pentagon said that the US-led coalition's forces struck the Syrian army in Deir ez-Zor as a result of an "unintentional, regrettable error."

    US Air Force Brig. Gen. Richard Coe who is investigating the incident said that the mistake was mostly based on "human factors."

    "In this incident, ultimately, we made an unintentional regrettable error primarily based on human factors in several areas in the targeting process," Coe told reporters during a press briefing.

    "We can’t say that for certain because there were no uniforms, no insignia and no flags observed," Coe stated. "We believe that the forces that were struck were aligned with the Syrian regime, and we cannot with certainty tell whether they were regime military or some kind of militia or aligned [force]."

    "We’ve got the F-16s, A-10s, FA-18s and also remotely piloted aircraft as well," Coe told reporters when asked what type of aircraft got involved in the attack.

    The Pentagon also said that the US-led coalition's strikes on Syrian army positions would have continued if Russian military officials did not call their colleagues via a deconfliction channel. The deconfliction channel is part of a memorandum of understanding on safety of flights in Syria's airspace signed by the US Defense Department and Russian Ministry of Defense in October 2015.

    Coe explained the coalition had given Russia prior notice about the airstrike, but provided inaccurate information, erroneously identifying the target as being 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) south of the Deir ez-Zor airfield instead of 9 kilometers south of the city.

    "We would not have stopped the strikes but for the phone call from the Russians," Coe told reporters. "Without that call from the Russians the strikes would have continued for longer than they did, so we’re certainly grateful for that phone call."

    Had the US-led coalition given the correct information, Russia would have had the opportunity to warn the coalition that Syrian forces were operating in the area, Coe added.

    The United States will discuss compensation for victims of the September airstrike on government forces in Deir ez-Zor upon a request from Syrian authorities, US Central Command spokesman Col. John Thomas said.

    "Should the government of Syria make a formal claim for compensation against the United States, such a claim will be addressed through appropriate diplomatic channel," Thomas told reporters.

    Russian officials waited for almost half an hour to pass information on US-led coalition strike mistake in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor through the deconfliction channel, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) claimed.

    "There was a critical delay of 27 minutes while Russian officials waited for a familiar US counterpart to come on the line before passing that information," the release stated.

    Brig. Gen. Richard Coe, who led the probe into the incident, recommended enhanced use of the deconfliction channel with Russia "to ensure that critical information is communicated more quickly to available personnel," according to the release. Coe has told reporters in a conference call that the United States had asked Russia to convey messages immediately regardless of who is on the line.

    The full Pentagon's report into the deadly strike remains classified, the spokesman said.

    On September 17, US-led coalition aircraft carried out four strikes against the Syrian army near the Deir ez-Zor airport, leaving 62 soldiers killed and some 100 wounded. The Pentagon said that the airstrike was a mistake and was intended to target Daesh militants, while a number of Syrian officials stated that the attack was intentional.

    Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry slammed the US-led coalition for striking civilians instead of terrorists.

    "Weddings, funerals, hospitals, police departments, humanitarian convoys and even Syrian troops, fighting against Daesh terrorists near Deir ez-Zor, become targets for coalition airstrikes," spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said, commenting on an alleged US-led coalition's member's strike on a Syrian village in north Aleppo that claimed at least six lives.


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    CENTCOM, Pentagon, Deir Ez-Zor, Syria, United States
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    • igybundy
      This area was held by the SAA for over 2 years surrounded by ISIS with 150,000 civilians. Right now those 3 hills are held by ISIS still as the US destroyed all equipment to hold onto the hill as well.
    • avatar
      It was not USAF pilotsF. Those in charge of designating targets before take off are easily infiltrated...All roads lead to Rome.
    • Adrienne Adonis
      With all of the Intel and satellite real time pictures and specs on the ground in the front lines......what are we fighting back in the stone with no high tech communications ?
    • avatar
      Don't they think the US is already sufficiently despised throughout most of the world, certainly not improved by earlier such 'mistakes', assuming that is what they were.

      However, assuming that they were not mistakes, which many would not struggle to believe, puts the US in an even poorer light. And for what ? For the sick, petty triumph of stabbing a claimed ally in the back by kiling some of their personnel.

      How many such accidents have the Russians been responsible for? I rest my case.
    • NATOisEVIL
      Why is it always just pure rubbish coming out of the Americans.
    • avatar
      What monstrous lies what Pentagon is trying to say but cant is CIA set it all up to destroy peace agreement knowing Assad would stay.

      The regret from the Pentagon is real the rest is a cover up of a major betrayal within Washington and how it had lost control.
      Why now doing what it can to soften the ground to open the dialogue for peace talks or more accurately a truce in Aleppo.

      As the saying goes too little too late, once Turkey invaded, Aleppo must be liberated quickly and Al Bab taken then onto Raqqa and if Turkey foolishly gets in the way there relationship with Russia ,Iran, Syria and Lebeanon will fail badly on many levels.
    • FlorianGeyer
      I was going to write about the US Report ,but after a seconds deliberation I felt that two words would better describe the CENTCOM report.

      'Complete Bollocks'.
    • Mikhas
      The fact that ISIS knew exactly what to do within minutes, according to radio chatter between US and them and that they just three weeks after was threatening Damascus with exactly that and was drawing up plans to bomb Syrian troops if they came close to the "Sunni-state" they were planning to set up in the area, makes that statement impossibly to believe.

      If Hitlery would have won the election they would have not only threaten but bomb Syrian troops right away. Pentagram is obviously in damage control mode
    • avatar
      double bonus
      [The Pentagon said that the airstrike was a mistake and was intended
      to target Daesh militants, while a number of Syrian officials stated
      that the attack was intentional.]

      The timing seemed like it was intended to terminate the cease-fire.
      Calling it an accident is worse. If they are that incompetent it sounds
      even worse that doing it deliberately to stop the cease-fire.

      Why does the US Military WANT to look like idiots?
      Is it because they are guilty of something even worse?
      Why would an organization prefer to look incompetent,
      instead of taking responsibility for their actions?
    • avatar
      An attack that lasted for over an hour a mistake?
      Pure American BS !!..LIARS
    • avatar
      And who believes that lie?
    • Atmoran
      Result of 'Unintentional, Regrettable Error'...
      ...For a 145th time. Get the F out of here.
    • arpito
      "we cannot with certainty tell whether they were regime military or some kind of militia or aligned [force]." - this shows that they knew, because they would not have bomber the rebels, who also don't wear insignia and flags. The military bastards had one intention, to torpedo the Obama initiatives to cooperate with the Russians.
    • avatar
      Michael Hill
      What a bunch of sociopaths the pentagon employs.
    • FeEisi
      Before the airstrike against the SAA a lot of people in the US government were complaining that Russia isn't targeting ISIS but US supported "moderates", especially the NSyA that were hit by Russian cluster bombs. So part of the motive of the airstrikes was vengeance.
    • avatar
      The Master Liars from the Master Terror state Usa !!!!!!!!!
    • avatar
      "We’ve got the F-16s, A-10s, FA-18s and also remotely piloted aircraft as well"

      ... and we're pretty stupid as well.
    • avatar
      elsa.zardiniin reply toigybundy(Show commentHide comment)
      igybundy, including jews ones, if I well recall.
    • avatar
      Apply the laws of Nuremburg; go right to the top and indict everyone for murder on the way to Obama, since he is the Commander in Chief.
    • avatar
      elsa.zardiniin reply tomarcanhalt(Show commentHide comment)
      marcanhalt, Exactly.
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