USA forces reportedly saw the bombing happen from about three miles away from the blasts.
Russia's defense ministry replied in a statement that "not a single air strike on the regions specified by the USA side was conducted by Russian or Syrian air forces". He declined to say how numerous USA -backed Syrian fighters were killed or wounded.
"Some quick calls were made through our deconfliction channels and the Russians acknowledged and stopped bombing there".
While the momentum in Iraq is decidedly against ISIS, in Syria the group still holds a large amount of territory, and several months into the US-announced assault of Raqqa, Kurdish forces have only managed to "surround" the northern part of the city, which is likely the source of President Trump's call for plans for "rapid" defeat of ISIS, and also that this involves greatly increasing the number of United States troops in Syria.
An image taken from video footage and released by Russia's Defense Ministry on August 18, 2016, shows a Russian fighter-bomber dropping bombs in Syria.
Russian warplanes bombed US-backed fighters in several small villages in northern Syria after they mistakenly thought Islamic State group forces were in the area, a USA general said on Wednesday (Mar 1).
The deadly bombing run marks the second time in weeks that Russian planes have bombed friendly forces around al Bab. "The Russian side took this information into account", the Russian Defense Ministry said. The incident was due to wrong information designating the targeted areas held by IS, the U.S. official alleged.
The villages where the Tuesday strikes took place were close to al Bab and about 15 or 20 km (10 to 12 miles) from Manbij city, Townsend said.
Townsend mentioned the incident to illustrate his point that the battlefield in Syria is exceptionally complex. The U.S. -backed Syrian Democratic Forces are now converging on the city from the north and the west.
"Last week, we saw Turk and Turk proxy forces fighters converge with Syrian regime and Syrian proxy fighters, ISIS being in the mix there".
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Russia's military involvement is a further complication, from the US point of view.
The United States and Russian Federation have a channel for avoiding each other in the crowded airspace over Syria.
Townsend did not comment on relations with Russian other than to mention that a U.S.
His comments were a diplomatic way to express American alarm over Turkish threats to move from al Bab on to the nearby city of Manbij, where the USA -backed Syrian Democratic Forces hold ground. The link was established to "deconflict", or avoid collisions between US and Russian warplanes over Syria.
Townsend urged all factions to work together to focus on defeating the Islamic State.
More broadly, the general said he is satisfied that the US counter-IS strategy as developed during the Obama years is working. They are expected to include new deployments for some USA troops.
Townsend confirmed that the Syrian Arab Coalition forces suffered casualties in the bombings. While the 50,000-strong force faces "the problem of supply, the problem of training, and problems of positioning the force", those things can be worked out fairly rapidly, "if we get the authorities we need" from Washington, he said.
The incident comes as President Donald Trump weighs how to accelerate the fight against ISIS, which could include a moderate boost to about 500 US troops operating in Syria.
There seems to be no end to the fighting in Syria-or the airstrikes.