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WASHINGTON, June 9. /TASS/. Washington does not view another air strike of the US-led coalition on government troops in southern Syria as an escalation, US Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters.
"The coalition remains ready to defend itself as pro-regime forces (loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad) advance toward coalition forces at At Tanf and otherwise threaten coalition forces. So we do not see this as an escalation," she said at a daily press briefing on Thursday.
The command of the Inherent Resolve operation, conducted by a US-led coalition in Iraq and Syria said on Thursday that the allies have no plans of engaging in combat with neither the Syrian government forces or Russian servicemen.
However, this is the third US air strike on government troops in southern Syria in past days. On June 6, the coalition’s aircraft attacked pro-government forces, claiming that the Syrian military crossed into a so-called "deconfliction zone" and thus posed a threat to the coalition’s training garrison in At Tanf.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier said that the so-called deconfliction zones were announced by the coalition unilaterally, without the consent from the legitimate Syrian government in Damascus. They are illegitimate, unlike the de-escalation zones, agreed by participants of the reconciliation talks in Astana in May, Lavrov said.