WASHINGTON — A U.S. Central Command official says the coalition monitored a target in Syria for two days and deemed it valid before launching the airstrikes that Russia says hit and killed Syrian government troops Saturday.
Col. John Thomas says stopping the airstrike was initially delayed because the first call from the Russian military was cryptic and didn't get through to the right coalition officer immediately. He says that when the Russians called back, they spoke to the right officer and the strike was halted within about five minutes.
Thomas says the U.S. military is appointing a general officer to investigate the strikes on the Deir el-Zour site, which lasted almost an hour. Britain, Denmark, Australia and the U.S. have acknowledged that their aircraft took part in the strike.