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US Attacks Syrian Army Checkpoint, One Killed, Two Wounded

Footage shows a heavy exchange of gunfire after which the Syrians say the Americans returned with helicopter gunships

Syrian state media reports that one Syrian soldier was killed, and two wounded when their positions in northeast Syria came under attack by a pair of US helicopter gunships.

The US confirmed a clash between Pentagon troops and Syrians at a checkpoint near Qamishli, and footage from the incident shows an exchange of ground fire.

Pentagon denies carrying out “airstrikes” but it is unclear if an attack by a helicopter gunship would qualify or not:

“After receiving safe passage from the pro-regime forces, the patrol came under small arms fire from individuals in the vicinity of the checkpoint,” Col. Myles B. Caggins III, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, said in a statement. “Coalition troops returned fire in self-defense. The Coalition did not conduct an airstrike. No Coalition casualties occurred.”

Frankly, the Syrian outpost does not look like something it would take attack helicopters to subdue:

At the height of the civil war in Syria its national army largely withdrew from the mixed Kurdish-Arab northeast of the country in order to concentrate forces on the more strategically key areas in the urban West where Al-Qaeda and other Islamist factions were ascendant.

The vacuum in the northeast was filled by local Kurdish militias but the Syrian army retained a few enclaves, notably near the ethnically mixed Arab-Kurdish city of Qamishli.

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