U.S. air strikes pound pro-Assad forces in Syria

(FOX News) -- The U.S. military launched fresh air strikes against pro-Assad forces in Syria, officials told Fox News Thursday.

The American strikes were the first against Assad positions since the Pentagon rained 57 Tomahawk missiles on the Shayrat air base near Homs. But the strikes confirmed Thursday were believed to be the first targeting Syrian personnel. According to the defense official, the coalition strikes targeted pro regime units operating in the vicinity of At-Tnaf, near the Iraqi border. After a show of force to try to stop the pro regime forces was ignored, the strikes were mounted.

"The coalition commander assessed the threat and after shows of force didn't stop the regime forces and those forces refused to move out of the deconfliction zone, the commander on the ground called for the air strike as a matter of force protection," a senior U.S. defense official told Fox News.

But the attack on forces does not reflect an escalation, the official said.

"There is no change in policy," the official said.

Read more at FOXNews.com

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