MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On Saturday, coalition planes hit the Syrian army positions near the Deir ez-Zor airport, killing 62 servicemen and injuring more than 100, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The attack was later confirmed by the US Central Command, which said that Syrian troops were mistaken for the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.
"As soon as the coalition commanders were advised by the Russian command in the region that Syrian forces had been affected, the sortie was discontinued We regret the loss of life, and injury to any Syrian personnel affected. That is all I can say about the incident at the moment," Turnbull said Sunday, as quoted by The Guardian newspaper.
Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with government forces fighting numerous opposition factions and extremist groups, including the Islamic State (IS), which is outlawed in many countries, including Russia. The government-held city of Deir Ez-Zor has been under siege from IS since July 2014.
The US-led coalition has been carrying out anti-IS strikes since September 2014 without Syrian government consent.