US troops exchanged fire with pro-Assad gunmen with the Syrian regime claiming a civilian had been killed by American fire.
An US military patrol was stopped in the country’s north-west by a crowd of militiamen and civilians loyal to Bashar al-Assad.
The fracas began with angry words and one Syrian man tearing a US flag off one of the armoured vehicles.
It quickly escalated and video footage showed armed men shooting rifles at US vehicles while American troops fired bursts of automatic gunfire.
“The patrol came under small arms fire from unknown individuals. In self-defence, coalition troops returned fire,” said a US military spokesman.
The US said its troops are only in Syria to fight Isil.
“The American occupation soldiers fired live bullets and smoke bombs on the locals as a civilian was martyred,” the Assad regime claimed.