US and Russia trade recriminations over Syrian troop deaths

The US air strikes that killed up to 90 Syrian government troops in eastern Syria last week were unintentional and directed at the Islamic State, said UN Ambassador Samantha Power at a UN Security Council called by Russia Saturday. She went on to list Assad regime atrocities during the five-year civil war. Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin questioned the timing of the hit, two days before the Russian-American coordination in the fight against terror groups in Syria was to go into effect.

A US administration official earlier expressed "regret" for the "unintentional loss of life". But Russia's defense ministry retorted that if the US air strikes did turn out to be an error, it would be because of Washington's refusal to co-ordinate military action with Moscow. (read DEBKAfile special report on this.)

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