USA forces, who were a couple of miles away to assist the Syrian fighters, called in the information and the Russians halted the airstrikes, Townsend said. "Yet, on the ground were some of our Syrian Arab Coalition [an SDF faction]", General Townsend said.
US forces on the ground less than three miles from the site reportedly observed the strike and alerted the Russian military through an emergency line, after which the bombing stopped, he continued.
Russian officials have already denied the accusations as stated through their state-run news outlet.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that "on February 28, there were contacts in Syria via the established communication channels between a representative of the air group command of the Russian Aerospace Forces at the Hmeymim airbase and his USA counterpart at the Al Udeid air base (Qatar)". However, there were a few casualties reported from the Syrian Arab Coalition.
"I don't foresee us bringing in large numbers of coalition troops, mainly because what we're doing is, in fact, working", Townsend said.
Townsend said the incident illustrates how complicated the battlefield has become near al-Bab, which is less than 20 miles from the Turkish border in northwest Syria and was seized from the Islamic State by Turkish-backed forces last month.
It was a situation that USA commanders have been trying to avoid since Russian Federation deployed dozens of aircraft to Syria in late 2015.
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USA forces reportedly saw the bombing happen from about three miles away from the blasts.
A communication link between Russian and United States forces in the region was established months ago, with the military of the two countries having agreed to communicate in order to avoid incidents in the busy Syrian airspace. -Russian military communications link set up during the Obama administration was used in response to the airstrikes that hit US partner forces Tuesday.
Russia's military involvement is a further complication, from the US point of view. "We've seen them use ... tunnels, shipping containers and vehicles in the streets to slow the [Iraqi forces] down, and they've rigged many of these barriers with explosives".
The Islamic State group has continuously ceded ground under pressure from those American-backed fighters and coalition air power in Iraq and Syria.
"And so we worked out an arrangement, a deconfliction".
Others have said the Trump administration might seek to accelerate the assault on Raqqa by putting additional USA trainers and advisers into Syria and possibly sending small numbers of conventional forces to operate long-range artillery.