BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:02 P.M.) – Earlier on Sunday, the Syrian Army and allied paramilitary groups launched a surprise attack against US-backed forces along the eastern shore of the Euphrates.

According to reports, the government assault resulted in at least five towns and villages – Junaynah, Jayah, Shamrt Hossan, Huwayjat Ma’ishyah and Shaqrah – coming under Syrian Army control, at least so for several hours.

New information from official sources suggests that government troops have since retreated from all five settlements following a counter-attack by US-backed forces – whether or not American airpower was involved in the engagement remains unclear.

According to various sources, anywhere between six to nine US-backed fighters and possibly a top commander were killed in the clashes that took place; government losses are unknown.

It is still unclear why Syrian pro-government forces attacked US-backed factions today.

Updates to follow.

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