Syria condemns U.S.-led airstrikes on pro-gov't forces in Deir al-Zour
DAMASCUS, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian Foreign Ministry on Thursday strongly condemned the U.S.-led airstrikes on pro-government forces in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour, state news agency SANA reported.
In a statement, the ministry accused the U.S. warplanes of "committing a massacre" against pro-government forces that were confronting the terrorist organization Islamic State(IS).
Calling it a "new barbaric aggression," the ministry said the U.S. attack came in the framework of the Washington's "aggressive policies" against Syria.
The pro-government Syrian forces were confronting IS militants, "who are under the protection" of the U.S. coalition and the allied forces of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), it added.
The Syrian government urged the UN Security Council to condemn the massacre and to hold the U.S. coalition responsible for their "crimes and aggression that have left thousands of civilians either killed or wounded," the statement said.
Earlier in the day, the SDF said the U.S.-led coalition struck positions of pro-Syrian government forces in the eastern Syrian province of Deir al-Zour to defend its partners.
The coalition's move was in retaliation for the pro-Syrian government forces' targeting of the U.S.-backed forces in the area, the SDF noted.
Meanwhile, SANA reported that U.S. warplanes carried out 10 airstrikes on the positions of the pro-government forces after midnight Saturday.
According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 45 pro-government fighters were killed in the airstrikes.
Meanwhile, a statement from Deir al-Zour's Syrian tribes said the U.S. coalition airstrikes killed their young fighters who were battling IS and the SDF on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.[ Editor: meng ]