Tensions Between US And Russian Forces Escalate In Syria
Tensions Between US And Russian Forces Escalate In Syria
Russia reportedly warned US forces in Syria of possible attack
10 September, 2018, 09:28
"Our forces will demonstrate the capability to deploy rapidly, assault a target with integrated air and ground forces and conduct rapid exfiltration", Captain William Urban, the chief Central Command spokesman said.
Al-Tanf is a military base located 24km to the west from the al-Tanf border crossing between Syria and Iraq in Homs Governorate. The exercise is specifically designed for Russian and regime units in the area to see the activity and understand U.S. capabilities, defense officials say.
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"The United States does not seek to fight the Russians, the government of Syria or any groups that may be providing support to Syria in the Syrian civil war", said Lt. Col. Earl Brown, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command.
US military officials bluntly warned Russian and Syria not to go forward with an attack within a 35-mile-wide security zone that the USA maintains around Tanf, a key strategic outpost.
Russian forces have not recently been seen amassing their troops; however, the USA military is still on alert, officials said.
Russian Federation sent the US two messages warning that it planned to attack "terrorists" in the same area as At Tanf, where USA -led coalition forces are garrisoned in the fight against ISIS.
Russian Federation has warned the US that its military and allied Syrian forces are ready to attack a key US-held base near the borders of Syria, Jordan, and Iraq, US defense officials said in a CNN report published on Thursday.
Russia's Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said he had told USA officials that Moscow was concerned over signs the United States was preparing new strikes on Syria and warned against "groundless and illegal aggression against Syria".
The Russian threats may be a way of testing USA resolve to keep troops in Syria now that President Bashar Assad's forces, backed by Russian troops and warplanes, have succeeded in defeating rebels everywhere except Idlib province and areas of eastern Syria controlled by the US and its allies.
"Coalition partners are in the At Tanf deconfliction zone for the fight to destroy ISIS", Brown said. With Russia's military directly involved and giving the U.S. advanced warning, clearly a U.S. attack won't be taken the same way as those past incidents.
While most of the Syrian War is centered at this point around the Idlib Province, the last major rebel bastion, there is also interest in mopping up some of the smaller rebel positions along the Jordan border, especially where ISIS and al-Qaeda are concerned.
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