United States begins military exercise in Syria

Leroy Wright
September 10, 2018

The officials said that no current indications of Russian ground forces massing near the USA military base existed, but Russian airstrikes or missiles launched from warships in the Mediterranean could threaten the area.

The exercise involves an aerial assault by a company-sized dismounted element, which will conduct a live-fire rehearsal before departing the 34-mile de-confliction zone around the coalition's At Tanf garrison.

Al Tanf is home to a U.S military outpost where US forces train local anti-ISIS partners.

"Exercises like this bolster our defeat-ISIS capabilities and ensure we are ready to respond to any threat to our forces", added the CENTCOM statement.

This is likely to be a long-term source of tensions in southeastern Syria, as the U.S. shows no sign of leaving Tanf, and has no real military goals for the troops there, beyond being there to pick fights with other troops that happen by.

This is while Trump had previously stated that he wanted American troops out of Syria as soon as possible and redirected millions of dollars meant to help rebuild Syria to other military projects.

Russian Federation threatened to attack militants, who they refer to as terrorists, near outpost base At Tanf, a town close to Syria's borders with Iraq and Jordan, in messages sent to the United States in recent days.

Russian forces have not recently been seen amassing their troops; however, the United States military is still on alert, officials said.

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According to the report, US Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford were aware of the latest intelligence, adding that American troops in Syria "have the right of self-defense if they are attacked and would not need to ask permission from higher levels of the government before acting".

This is a raising a unsafe risk of a confrontation between the USA and Russian Federation, because Russia and Syria are very keen to chase some of the Islamists off the border in the near future, and Russian Federation has informed them some of these Islamists are relatively close to U.S. military positions in the area.

Syrian government forces plan a phased offensive in Idlib and surrounding areas held by rebels opposed to Assad, who has been backed by both Russian and Iranian forces in the country's civil war. "However, the United States will not hesitate to use necessary and proportionate force to defend U.S., coalition or partner forces, as we have clearly demonstrated in past instances", Robertson said.

"We have absolutely advised them to stay out of At Tanf", a United States official told CNN.

US President Donald Trump has warned Syria's President Assad and his allies Iran and Russian Federation not to launch a "reckless attack" to the Idlib province, as it would result in hundreds of thousands of people killed.

It is believed a Russian-led attack against "militants" could come from one of their aircrafts or warships in the Mediterranean.

Russian Federation has reportedly warned the US that its military and allied Syrian forces were ready to attack a key US-held base near the border of Syria, Jordan, and Iraq, US defense officials said in a CNN report published on Thursday.

"The U.S. does not require any assistance in our efforts to destroy [Islamic State] in the At Tanf deconflicition zone, and we advised the Russians to remain clear", Brown said.

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