An airstrike carried out by US-led anti-Islamic State (ISIS) coalition forces accidentally killed 18 fighters belonging to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Pentagon said Thursday.
The “misdirected strike” was carried out on Tuesday south of Tabqah. The strike had been requested by “partnered forces” in the fight against Islamic State in Syria, who had identified the target location as an Islamic State fighting position.
The SDF is a US-allied coalition of Syrian Kurds and Arabs.
A Pentagon news release did not further identify the forces that requested the airstrike, which occurred as part of the coalition’s air support of an offensive to free al-Raqqa, Islamic State’s de facto capital in Syria.
The statement said the target location was actually a forward SDF fighting position. It expressed the coalition’s “deepest condolences” to SDF members and their families.
The SDF “have expressed a strong desire to remain focused on the fight against ISIS despite this tragic incident,” the statement said, using a common acronym for Islamic State.