Australia Offers Condolences Over Air Strike on Syrian Troops

A damaged highway is pictured in the rebel-held al-Shaar neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria, September 17, 2016. Picture taken September 17, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

By Harry Pearl

SYDNEY, Sept 18 – The Australian Department of Defence has offered its condolences to the families of Syrian soldiers killed or wounded in a U.S.-led bombing campaign on Saturday, in which Australia participated and Russia said hit Syrian military personnel and vehicles.

Australian aircraft were among the warplanes that struck what were believed to be Daesh fighting positions around Deir al-Zor in Eastern Syria.

However, shortly after the bombing started Russian officials advised the multinational Combined Air Operations Centre that the targets may have been Syrian military personnel.

The Australian Ministry of Defence said on Sunday that it would fully cooperate with a Coalition review of the incident.

“While Syria remains a dynamic and complex operating environment, Australia would never intentionally target a known Syrian military unit or actively support Daesh (also known as ISIL),” the ministry said in a statement.

“Defence offers its condolences to the families of any Syrian personnel killed or wounded in this incident,” the ministry said on Sunday.

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