The official said that our military was "certain" about the outcome of the strike as we had been watching these forces "for a few days" thinking they were the Islamic State.
Syria and Russia said the U.S.-led coalition hit the Syrian base in Deir el-Zour that was surrounded, at the time, with ISIS jihadists, which allowed them to advance. At no time in the 5 years of Syrian civil war have we ever intentionally struck Bashar "the Chin" Assad's forces until now.
CENTCOM officials said the target appeared comprised of "irregular forces" and that many fighter aircraft struck six military "troop carrier" vehicles and one tank "out in the open." The U.S. informed our Russian counterparts prior to the strike but "did not share specifics" of the target, only the airspace we were flying in and general area.
Russia reported that Syria told them 62 of its soldiers were killed.
CENTCOM said that the U.S. was calling Russia through diplomatic channels in a statement that read: "the 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 statement added that "coalition forces would not intentionally strike a known Syrian military unit."
Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said that another 100 Syrian military were wounded in the airstrike which was flown by two F-16s and two A-10s.
Konashenkov said that ISIS militants surrounding the air base launched an attack after the strike.
Konashenkov added that if the coalition attack was a screwup, it was due to the "stubborn reluctance by the American side to coordinate its action against terrorist groups in Syria and Russia."
The Syrian military said the airstrikes allowed ISIS to advance on a hill overlooking the base and called the strike 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 Arabic for Islamic State. It's a term Obama and Kerry sometimes use to show off their enormous knowledge of Islam.
Assad "The Chin" believes all who oppose him are "terrorists" and has accused us for years of backing rebel extremists. If he believes that we support ISIS, he probably got that belief by observing the loose-wrist efforts of our commander-in-chief at destroying them and allowing others to go free from Gitmo.
The cease-fire began Monday and has been mostly upheld, although there have been a few reports of violations. But aid convoys haven't been able to enter rebel-held areas of Aleppo, a Gary Johnson future destination.
On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin questioned the U.S. commitment to the cease-fire, and implied that Obama wasn't ready to break with "terrorist elements" fighting The Chin's forces. He said we failed to rein in the rebels and believed Donald Trump would do a better job of getting things under control.
Russia said the U.S. has failed to rein in the rebels and Putin asked why the U.S. insisted on not releasing a written copy of the agreement--officials released some details in press conferences but had not provided a written document.
Since the civil war began, more than 300,000 people were killed and half the country's population has been displaced and sent to countries in the West where they have set up house no where near the leaders of the countries that have taken them in.