The US military says coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike in Syria south of Deir al-Zour, but it halted the operation when they learned from Russian officials that the target possibly belonged to the Syrian military.
The coalition forces believed they were striking an Islamic State fighting position, the US military's Central Command said in a statement emailed to dpa. The forces had been tracking the position for a significant amount of time before the strike, it said.
"The coalition airstrike was halted immediately when coalition officials were informed by Russian officials that it was possible the personnel and vehicles targeted were part of the Syrian military," the news release says.
Coalition forces would not intentionally strike a known Syrian military unit, according to unidentified officials quoted in the news release. The US military says coalition members had informed Russian counterparts about the airstrike ahead of time as a "professional courtesy."
Syria and Russia said Saturday that US-led coalition airstrikes against Syrian government positions in the east of the country caused deaths and allowed the Islamic State terrorist militia to advance in the area.