DAMASCUS, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian army on Monday denied allegations circulated on foreign media outlets that the U.S. air force carried out airstrikes against positions of the Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria's northern al-Raqqa province, according to the official SANA news agency.
"All of what some media outlets reported about airstrikes by U. S. war jets on targets in the al-Raqqa province is totally untrue, " the military said.
The news came just a day after the Syrian air force killed as many as 31 IS militants in a total of 26 airstrikes against their positions in al-Raqqa.
The IS, an al-Qaida-splinter group, and other like-minded extremists have grown more dangerous recently, prompting the international community to adopt a resolution that basically threatens sanctions and possible military action against the parties that render financial support or fighters to the IS in Iraq and Syria.
The United States has been aiding the Kurds in Iraq against the IS militants there, backing them up with airstrikes against the positions of the IS. On Monday, media reports said that the Kurdish militias succeeded in recapturing the al-Musel Dam from the IS with the help of the U.S. air force.
The IS, previously known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has recently proclaimed the establishment of an " Islamic Caliphate" straddling Syria and Iraq, and changed its name into the "Islamic State."
The group led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who commands tens of thousands of fighters, said their goal is to establish an Islamic state in Iraq and Syria to fight the Shiite government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and that of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose top ranks are from the Alawite minority, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.
Syria has been gripped by deadly conflict since March 2011. Over 160,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the violence.