US strike hits pro-Assad forces Syria

Switzerland Syria Talks
Syria's main opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) leader Nasr al-Hariri, 2nd left, and UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Staffan de Mistura, 3rd right, attend a round of negotiation, during the Intra Syria talks, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, May 16, 2017. (Salvatore Di Nolfi, Pool Photo via AP)

BEIRUT (AP) — U.S. officials say an American airstrike has hit pro-Syrian government forces in southern Syria as they were setting up fighting positions in a protected area.

The officials say the strike near Tanf hit a tank and a bulldozer and forces there, but it was not clear if they were Syrian army troops or other pro-government allies.

One official says the pro-regime forces had entered a so-called “de-confliction” zone without authorization and were perceived as a threat to U.S.-allied troops there. The officials say the strike was a defensive move to protect the U.S. allies. It wasn’t clear if U.S. forces were there.

The officials weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity.

—Lolita C. Baldor and Robert Burns in Washington.