Russia: US-led coalition forces kill 62 Syrian troops

The U.S. Central Command statement was issued late Saturday, after Syria and Russian Federation said the U.S. -led coalition had struck a Syrian military base in Deir el-Zour that is surrounded by IS militants, enabling them to advance.

The attack had paved the way for Islamic State fighters to overun the position near Deir al-Zor airport, the group said.

Defence ministry spokesman Maj Gen Igor Konashenkov said the air strike near Deir el-Zour airport was conducted by two F-16s and two A-10s. He did not identify the planes' country affiliation, but said they were part of the global coalition.

The Russian Defence Ministry said the planes had bombed Syrian troops battling ISIL near the airport.

However, the two agreed on Friday to extend the ceasefire and Putin said that Russian Federation would abide by its own commitments and still believed that securing a Syrian ceasefire was a common goal for both Washington and Moscow. Konashenkov said the planes came from the direction of the Iraqi border, he added.

"Syria is a complex situation with various military forces and militias in close proximity, but coalition forces would not intentionally strike a known Syrian military unit", the statement said citing officials.

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Russian Federation has called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council after the United States admitted carrying out air strikes believed to have killed Syrian government soldiers.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says a woman and child were killed Saturday in Talbiseh, in the central Homs province.

The U.S. has halted an attack in eastern Syria amid fears that the airstrike hit Syrian soldiers in the region on Saturday.

It called the strike a "serious and blatant attack on Syria and its military", and "firm proof of the USA support of Daesh and other terrorist groups", using the Arabic acronym for IS.

The U.S. military said a coalition airstrike officials believed were against the terror group ISIS in Syria was halted Saturday after Russian officials said it was possible the targets were part of the Syrian military. Russian Federation has been waging a year-old air campaign on behalf of Syrian president Bashar Assad's forces and closely coordinates with them.

Syrian activists said government forces have meanwhile killed five civilians.

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Earlier on Saturday, a United Nations humanitarian group expressed frustration that it has so far been unable to deliver aid to Aleppo amid fears that the US-Russian truce is about to collapse.

But senior United Nations officials have accused the government of not providing letters to allow convoys to reach besieged areas in Syria.

"If these strikes were due to an error in the target coordinates, that would be a direct outcome of the US' refusal to coordinate with Russian Federation its fight against the terrorist groups in Syria", it said.

Syria's government said it was doing all that was necessary for the arrival of aid to those in need it in all parts of the country, particularly to eastern Aleppo.

Fresh shelling and clashes were reported overnight in some areas of the war-torn country, but the U.S. -Russia brokered truce which took effect on Monday appeared to be largely holding.

The ministry said the strikes had been carried out between 1700 and 1750 local time.

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"This comes from the problems the facing on the Syrian track - they still can not separate the so-called healthy part of the opposition from the half-criminal and terrorist elements", Putin said during a trip to Kyrgyzstan. "But this is a very unsafe route".


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