Syria slams deadly U.S. strike as 'war crime'

By Susan McFarland  |  Feb. 8, 2018 at 2:17 PM
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Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Syria's foreign ministry appealed to the United Nations Security Council Thursday to condemn a U.S. assault that killed more than 100 government troops.

The U.S. military said the overnight airstrike in Deir el-Zour was retaliation for an "unprovoked attack" against the U.S.-led coalition occupying Syria.

The Syrian government, though, called the act a "barbaric aggression" and said the real purpose of the "so-called international coalition" was to support the Islamic State terror network.

Syria's foreign ministry wrote a letter to the Security Council Thursday calling for international condemnation.

"This new aggression, which represents a war crime and a crime against humanity and a direct support to terrorism, affirms the nature of the low U.S. intentions against the sovereignty of Syria, the unity of its land and people and the U.S. exploitation of the pretext of fighting terrorism to establish illegal bases on the Syrian territory," the letter states.

"The government of the Syrian Arab Republic calls on the UNSC to condemn the massacre and hold the international coalition responsible for the killing and wounding of thousands of civilians, including children, women and elderly and to pay compensation to the families of the victims."

The letter also said the Syrian government wants the "illegal" U.S.-led coalition dissolved, as it is "a force of protection and support to terrorism."

"The Syrian institutions and forces will continue to carry out their responsibilities regardless of the sacrifices in order to prevent the U.S. coalition from achieving its declared terrorist objectives," it said.

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