SULAIMANI – The Coalition forces said special operations forces are involved in the training and equipping of two Vetted Syrian Opposition (VSO) groups to fight Islamic State (ISIS) militants in southern Syria.
Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) told NRT English on Monday (May 22) that the Coalition forces “train and equip, advise, assist, accompany and enable” two VSO groups to fight ISIS in the border area of Jordan, Syria and Iraq.
The CJTF-OIR refused to disclose more information on the numbers of the forces and locations as well as the movement of forces in or out of Iraq and Syria.
“In order to ensure operational security, force protection and tactical surprise, the Coalition does not confirm or deny information about the capabilities, force numbers, locations, or movement of forces in or out of Iraq and Syria,” the Coalition said in a statement to NRT.
According to the CJTF-OIR, the Coalition forces have been in the Al Tanf area for many months training and advising vetted partner forces battling ISIS militants.
The Coalition’s remarks came after an Iraqi commander, Shakir Obeid, told NRT Arabic that a Norwegian force had been deployed to Al Tanf border crossing in Syria on the border with Iraq.
The commander added that the Coalition forces have given the protection of the Syrian side of the border crossing to the Norwegian force, after ISIS were expelled from the border crossing.
Coalition forces said on May 18 that they had struck pro-regime forces which were advancing inside an established de-conflict zone northwest of Al Tanf in Syria, posed a threat to U.S. and Coalition forces in Al Tanf, the Coalition added in a statement.
On April 8, the CJTF-OIR said the Coalition forces and partnered VSO forces thwarted an ISIS attack targeting a partnered military base in southern Syria.
The Coalition said the VSO forces are concentrated on launching operations to clear ISIS from the Hamad desert and have been “instrumental in countering the ISIS threat in southern Syria and maintaining security along the Syria-Jordan border.”
Source: NRT English