DEIR EZZOR, SYRIA (10:10 A.M.) - A senior officer from the Syrian Arab Army's 123 Regiment told Al-Masdar on Tuesday morning that his unit was among the government forces targeted by the U.S. Coalition in Deir Ezzor earlier this month.
The senior officer, who asked Al-Masdar to keep his name anonymous, stated that prior to the airstrikes, the U.S. Coalition had flown several reconnaissance drones above their positions at Jabal Thardeh.
When asked how he knew they were American drones, the senior officer answered that their Russian military advisors had corresponded with the U.S. Coalition prior to the commencement of the reconnaissance mission.
At the time these reconnaissance flights were taking place, the Islamic State fighters were under attack by the Syrian Arab Army's 137th Brigade at Tal Sannouf.
On the day of the Islamic State offensive at Jabal Thardeh, the Syrian Armed Forces were in full control of this strategic mountaintop and the nearby hilltop of Tal Kroum.
The senior officer lost a dozen soldiers from his unit during the Coalition airstrikes over Jabal Thardeh; furthermore, these fallen soldiers were not at the front-lines.
Of the 106 soldiers killed at Jabal Thardeh by the U.S. Coalition, more than half of them died at points 1 and 2, which are located right next to the Deir Ezzor Military Airport.
Accidents often happen in battle; however, the majority of the airstrikes were not conducted near the front-lines.
The U.S. Coalition's airstrikes took out the Syrian Arab Army's last-line of defense at the Deir Ezzor Military Airport, forcing many of the soldiers fighting ISIS at the outskirts of Jabal Thardeh to withdraw to points 1 and 2.
Nearly one week after the U.S. Coalition's airstrikes, the Syrian Arab Army was forced to completely withdraw from Jabal Thardeh, leaving ISIS at the western gates of the Deir Ezzor Military Airport.