US forces in southern Syria came under attack by Islamic State militants around midnight local time on Saturday, joining with local partner forces to repel the assault in an hours-long fight that required multiple airstrikes and left three US-backed Syrian fighters dead.

US special-operations advisers were on the ground near the al-Tanf border crossing when a force of 20 to 30 fighters with the Islamic State, the terrorist group also known as ISIS or ISIL, attacked in what a US Central Command spokesman called a “complex and coordinated” attempt to take the base from the coalition.

“US and coalition forces were on the ground in the area as they normally are, and participated in repulsing the attack,” said Air Force Col. John J. Thomas, a spokesman for Central Command, according to the Associated Press.

“There was close-air support that was provided, there was ground support that was provided, and there was med-evac that was supported by the coalition,” Thomas added. No Americans were killed or wounded.

“Clearly it was planned,” Thomas told reporters at the Pentagon.

 

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Featured image courtesy of Reuters

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