Malcom Turnbull.jpg
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Photograph: EPA/DAVID MOIR AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT

US coalition partners Australia and Denmark expressed remorse on Monday for a weekend airstrike against Islamic State militants in eastern Syria that killed scores of Syrian soldiers and has pushed US-Russian relations to breaking point.  

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters that the Saturday operation targeting Islamic State militants in the eastern Syrian province of Deir al-Zour ended as soon as coalition commanders were told by Russia that Syrian forces were affected.

"We regret the loss of life and injury to any Syrian personnel affected," Turnbull said in New York, where he is visiting for the annual United Nations General Assembly.

The airstrike killed 90 Syrian regime troops, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Russia said on Sunday the strikes were "on the edge between a criminal negligence and direct indulging of IS [Islamic State] terrorists."

Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne told Australian broadcaster ABC on Monday that Australia is taking part in a US review of the airstrikes.

Denmark was also participating in the investigation after the country's Defence Command admitted late Sunday that two Danish F-16 jet fighters were deployed in Saturday's coalition raid.

"It is deeply regrettable if the [US-led] coalition attacked a Syrian military position due to an error," Defence Minister Peter Christensen said in a statement to Danish news agency Ritzau.

The airstrike has cast doubts over a ceasefire, brokered by Washington and Moscow, that took effect last week with the aim of halting the multi-sided conflict in Syria and relaunching a UN-sponsored peace process.

Related stories

Latest news

Trump administration reverses transgender bathroom protections

The Trump administration on Wednesday withdrew Obama-era guidance about the use of school and university bathrooms by transgender students, local media reported.

Several Dakota Access Pipeline protesters arrested as deadline passes

Several people at a camp protesting against a controversial oil pipeline in the US state of North Dakota were arrested Wednesday after a deadline to vacate the land passed, local media reported.

Germany deports 18 rejected asylum seekers to Afghanistan

A Kabul-bound plane with 18 Afghan migrants on board took off from Munich Airport late Wednesday, its passengers becoming the third group of rejected asylum seekers to be deported by German authorities back to Afghanistan.

New Romanian justice minister named after anti-corruption protests

Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu has named a former judge to be the country's next justice minister, after the previous office holder resigned under pressure from mass anti-corruption protests.

Le Pen's chief of staff indicted in European Parliament jobs probe

The chief of staff of Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate for president in upcoming French elections, was indicted Wednesday over allegations of irregular reimbursements from the European Parliament, a judicial source told dpa.

Montenegrin police extradites Miodrag Jovic to Croatia

Montenegrin police reported on Wednesday that they extradited to Croatia Miodrag Jovic (48) from Glina, after whom Interpol Zagreb issued an arrest warrant.

Croatian minister attends CoMoCoSEE conference in Albania

Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Korzinek participated in a third conference of the Council of Ministers of Culture of South-Eastern Europe (CoMoCoSEE) that took place in Tirana on February 21-22.

New Somali president asks al-Shabaab to surrender to 'help' country

Somalia's newly elected President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo asked Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab to surrender in order "to help rebuild" the conflict-ridden East African nation.

Serbia's EU negotiator says minority rights neglected

The head of the Serbia's European Union accession negotiation team, Tanja Miscevic, said in Novi Sad on Wednesday that minority rights had been neglected for many years and added that positive results in that regard cannot be achieved over night, the Beta news agency has reported. 

Scientists: Nearby star's 7 rocky planets are "best bet" for life

New analysis of telescope data shows a dwarf star just 40 light years from Earth has at least seven apparently rocky planets with potential to harbour water, an international team of scientists announced Wednesday.

Croatian PM receives EIB Vice-President

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic met on Wednesday with European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Dario Scannapieco for talks on the bank's contribution to a new investment cycle in Croatia and its support to the Croatian government to implement key projects, a press release from the government's office said.

Bomb explodes outside police officer's home in Northern Ireland

A bomb exploded outside a police officer's home in Northern Ireland on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of casualties.