Last night the illegal US occupation force in north-east Syria attacked a group of Syrian government aligned troops and their Russian support. The incident happened north-east of Deir Ezzor city on the east side of the Euphrates. The US claims that it killed some 100 Syrian soldiers that were allegedly attacking its proxy forces in an attempt to recover oil fields.
There is a factual separation of areas south-west of the Euphrates under Syrian government control and north-east of the Euphrates under US occupation. But several locations around Manbij, Raqqa and Deir Ezzor contradict that and are under control of the respective other side. The US claims that a "de-confliction line" along the Euphrates is agreed upon. The Syrian government says that no such agreement exists.
A small area across the Euphrates north-east of Deir Ezzor had been taken by Syrian government forces months ago. It is near some oilfields which the US wants to keep away from the Syrian government.
"The US wants to keep Syria weak and poor," says Prof. Joshua Landis. According to Landis the US is keeping the north-east of Syria under occupation to deny Syria access to its oil and its best agricultural land. It wants to turn Syria into a swamp for Russia and Iran to the benefit of mostly Israel.
The valuable oil and gas fields are currently in the hands of local Arab tribes who earlier worked with the Islamic State and are now, the US claims, allied with the YPG/PKK Kurds under the name Syrian Democratic Forces. The SDF is the US local proxy force for its occupation.
On the Syrian government side in Deir Ezzor are a few Syrian troops, local militia from the area, as well as members of Russian private military contractor named Wagner Group. Wagner allegedly has a contract with the Syrian government that will give it some 25 percent of all revenues from oil-fields it recovers and protects.
Last night the US military announced that it had "self defended" against an attack by Syrian government troops on Syrian ground:
Syrian pro-regime forces initiated an unprovoked attack against well-established Syrian Democratic Forces headquarters Feb. 7. Coalition service members in an advise, assist, and accompany capacity were co-located with SDF partners during the attack eight kilometers east of the agreed-upon Euphrates River de-confliction line.
In defense of Coalition and partner forces, the Coalition conducted strikes against attacking forces to repel the act of aggression against partners engaged in the Global Coalition's defeat-Daesh mission.
More than 100 fighters aligned with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were killed overnight when US coalition and coalition-backed local forces repelled their attack in eastern Syria, a US official said on Thursday.
The heavy death toll underscored the large size of the attack, which the US official said included about 500 opposing forces, backed by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and mortars. The official spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.
No American troops were killed or wounded in the incident, officials said.
Some US troops had been embedded at the time with Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), whose headquarters in Syria's Deir al-Zor province had been a target of the attack.
One SDF fighter was wounded, the official said.