Defense Secretary Jim Mattis stands in front of a map of Syria and Iraq during a news conference at the Pentagon, Friday, May 19, 2017, to give an update on the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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A Syrian military official said Friday that an aerial "aggression" by the U.S.-led coalition on a government military position near the border with Jordan a day earlier killed several soldiers and caused material damage.The unnamed official's comments were carried by Syrian state TV a day after the strike.The attack comes at a time when the U.S. presence in Syria is becoming more visible, mostly in the northern parts of the country where American troops are backing Kurdish-led forces fighting Daesh (ISIS).Syria's opposition delegation to Geneva lauded the airstrike, saying it helps curb Iran's influence in his country.American officials and Syrian activists said the strike took place in the desert near the border with Jordan, although it was unclear if it struck the Syrian army or just militias allied with the government.The Syrian military official said Friday that the area attacked was a military position along the Al-Tanf highway in the desert, close to where the borders of Jordan, Syria and Iraq meet. Asked if the airstrike increases the U.S. role in the Syrian war, Mattis said America would defend its troops in case of "aggressive" steps against them.
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