Syria war: 'One killed' as US troops clash with government loyalists near Qamishli

A man has reportedly been killed in a rare confrontation in north-eastern Syria between US-led coalition forces and pro-government militia fighters.

Syria’s state news agency, Sana, said a civilian died when US troops fired at a crowd stopping them pass through a checkpoint east of Qamishli city.

A monitoring group said it was not clear if the dead man was armed or not.

The coalition said a patrol came under fire from “unknown individuals” and returned fire in self-defence.

About 500 US troops are in north-eastern Syria to assist the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group.

Media captionTracking IS from Syria to the Philippines

Their mission has become more complicated since October, when the US announced a troop drawdown and Turkey launched a military offensive that forced Kurdish SDF fighters to pull back from Syrian border areas they controlled.

A ceasefire agreement that halted the offensive led to Syrian pro-government, Russian and Turkish forces moving into territory along the border.

US troops meanwhile moved to Syria’s far north-eastern tip, where Qamishli is located, and south to Deir al-Zour province to safeguard SDF-controlled oilfields.

Continue Reading This Article At BBC News

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