The Latest: Russia: US-led strike killed 62 Syrian troops

Sep. 17, 2016 2:18 PM EDT

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   - [image: Almazbek Atambayev, Vladimir Putin]

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Russian Foreign Minister
Sergey Lavrov speak each... Read more

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the conflict in Syria, where a fragile
cease-fire has entered its fifth day. (all times local):

9:15 p.m.

*A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman says 62 Syrian soldiers have been
reported killed in a U.S.-led coalition airstrike on a military base.*

*Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov says the airstrike on Saturday took place near
the Deir el-Zour airport *in eastern Syria and was carried out by two F-16s
and two A-10s. He did not identify the planes' country affiliation, but
said they were part of the international coalition.

Konashenkov says Syrian authorities told the Russians that 62 soldiers were
killed and more than 100 wounded. He says the planes came from the
direction of the border with Iraq.

Russia is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad's government and has
been carrying out airstrikes on behalf of his forces since last year.

Russia and the United States brokered a cease-fire in Syria that took
effect on Monday and has largely held despite dozens of alleged violations.


8:45 p.m.

*Syria's military says the U.S.-led coalition struck its base in the
eastern province of Deir el-Zour, allowing the Islamic State group to
advance in the fiercely contested area.*

*There was no immediate comment from Washington. If confirmed, it would be
the first time the coalition has targeted Syrian government forces.*

*In a statement Saturday, the Syrian military says the airstrikes caused
casualties and damage to equipment, and enabled an IS advance on the hill
overlooking the air base.*

*The statement calls it a "serious and blatant attack on Syria and its
military" and "firm proof of the U.S. support of Daesh and other terrorist
groups." Daesh is an Arabic acronym for IS.*

Syrian President Bashar Assad's government views all those fighting against
it as "terrorists," and has long accused the U.S. and other rebel
supporters of backing extremists.


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