DAMASCUS, Syria, Sept. 17 (UPI) — A U.S. airstrike in Syria meant to target Islamic State fighters instead hit a Syrian Army outpost, killing 62 soldiers, according to multiple reports.
The raid happened around 5:30 p.m. Saturday on a mountainside overlooking the Dier Az Zor airport in eastern Syria, according to Al Jazeera. Syrian state media reported the attack was carried out by two American F-16s and two A-10s that entered Syrian airspace from Iraq.
The Pentagon acknowledged airstrikes in the region Saturday, but said the effect was destroying five Islamic State supply routes. The Pentagon’s statement made no mention of hitting Syrian forces. The coalition mission in Syria has only been to target the Islamic State, which has taken over portions of the country. U.S.-led coalition forces have said they are not engaging either side of the Syrian civil war.
Russian military leaders identified the type of fighters that carried out the airstrike, but did not identify their country of origin. The Syrians said another 100 personnel were injured, in addition to the 62 that were killed.
The state-sponsored Syrian Arab News Network said the raid was carried out by U.S. forces and had allowed Islamic State fighter to take control of the mountain overlooking the military airport.