Britain says took part in air strikes believed to have killed Syrian soldiers

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Monday it had taken part in a U.S-led air strikes in Syria over the weekend that Russia says killed Syrian soldiers.

“We can confirm that the UK participated in the recent coalition air strike in Syria … on Saturday, and we are fully co-operating with the coalition investigation,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

“The UK would not intentionally target Syrian military units,” it added, declining to comment further.

The Russian Defence Ministry said on Saturday U.S. jets had killed more than 60 Syrian soldiers in four air strikes by two F-16s and two A-10s coming from the direction of Iraq.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitoring group with contacts across Syria, cited a military source as saying at least 90 Syrian soldiers had been killed in the strikes on the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zor.

The U.S, is investigating but Secretary of State John Kerry told CNN on Sunday the incident had been a “terrible thing … that we all acknowledge and regret.”

Australia also participated in the strikes and the Australian Department of Defence offered its condolences to the families of Syrian soldiers killed or wounded in the incident.