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.
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.