Targeting U.S.-led Forces in al-Tanf, Russia’s ‘Proof of Existence’

Russia has been trying to prove its military presence in Syria since the beginning of the war on Ukraine, according to Zaman al-Wasl.

Russia has been trying to prove its military presence in Syria since the beginning of the war on Ukraine, by provoking the U.S.-led International Coalition forces deployed on the territory of Syria, in addition to carrying out military campaigns against Islamic State pockets in the regime-held Badia desert in central Syria.

The latest of these provocations was Russian warplanes carrying out several air raids targeting military sites in which the Maghawir al-Thawra faction, a partner of the International Coalition, was deployed, on June 15th, near the al-Tanf garrison within the 55 km area at the border triangle between Jordan, Iraq and Syria.

Subsequently, the Maghawir al-Thawra conducted intensive military training during the past few days in partnership with the American forces, including training on heavy, medium and individual weapons, in order to confront the cells of the Islamic State group and maintain the security of the region.

Read Also: Russian Defense Ministry Warns “Terrorist Gangs” in al-Tanf that “Punishment is Coming”

The intensive exercises came after Russian warplanes targeted the Maghawir al-Thawra barracks, which caused massive material damage, but no casualties among the faction’s fighters.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Russia’s attacks have raised Washington’s concern that these attacks could lead to a U.S.-Russian confrontation in Syria.”

The newspaper, quoting American officials, indicated that Russia alerted the United States that it would respond to an alleged attack against the regime forces, explaining that two Russian Sukhoi fighters bombed a site at the al-Tanf base in Syria.

In his turn, Abdulrazzaq Kheder, the media officer for the Maghawir al-Thawra faction, told Zaman al-Wasl that the Russian strike resulted in material damage to the target point, which is Hosh Matroud, which is 40 km away from the base.”

The spokesman stressed that military exercises and joint patrols with U.S. forces are continuing to keep the region safe and stable and to fight the Islamic State group.

Regarding the Russian allegations that it informed the U.S. forces that their strikes came in response to an attack against the Syrian regime forces, Kheder indicated that “the targeting against the regime forces took place outside the 55 km area controlled by the International Coalition, meaning that it took place outside the control of the Maghawir al-Thawra. 

Journalist Hassan al-Naifi told Zaman al-Wasl that this is not the first time that the Russian forces have tried to show the other forces present in Syria that they have the right to sovereignty over that area as long as the goal is to empower the regime.” The lion is out of complete control.

“Russia is claiming that it came to Syria in coordination with the legitimate government, and therefore the other forces present on the Syrian geography are illegal,” said Naifi.

The Syrian journalist does not believe that attacking Maghawir al-Thawra could lead to a large-scale military conflict between the Americans and the Russians because this targeting was not a direct targeting of the Americans.

“The attack is intended as a message to the Americans that the Russians are not in a position of weakness, and therefore the Ukrainian war did not distract them from continuing and enabling their influence on Syrian soil,” Al-Naifi concluded.

Five drones targeted the al-Tanf military base on October 20, 2020, when the U.S. Central Command described the attack as “coordinated and deliberate. 

U.S. officials confirmed at the time that “the raids did not result in casualties, but it was the first time that Tehran launched a military strike against the United States in response to Israeli raids.”

 

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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