U.S.-led forces destroyed pro-Syrian government forces that were encroaching on a joint special forces base in the southern portion of the country.
The pro-regime forces came too close to the joint U.S.-U.K. base near the town of At Tanf (also known as al-Tanf). They ignored several warnings sent over the “de-confliction line,” forcing Operation Inherent Resolve forces to attack.
“Despite previous warnings, pro-regime forces entered the agreed-upon de-confliction zone with a tank, artillery, anti-aircraft weapons, armed technical vehicles and more than 60 soldiers posing a threat to Coalition and partner forces based at the At Tanf Garrison,” said Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve in a statement.
Coalition forces destroyed two artillery pieces and an anti-aircraft weapon, and damaged a tank.The strike is the second U.S.-led strike against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s allies in less than a month. Coalition forces were forced to engage in a similar strike May 18 after pro-regime forces advanced into the de-confliction zone. The base has also come under threat by ISIS forces in the past.
U.S. and U.K. special forces have been “training and advising” Syrian forces fighting ISIS in the area for several months. Operation Inherent Resolve’s mission does not involve pro-regime forces, however, the coalition warned that it would defend itself, if need be.
“The Coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime or pro-regime forces but remains ready to defend themselves if pro-regime forces refuse to vacate the de-confliction zone.” said the statement. “The Coalition calls on all parties in southern Syria to focus their efforts on the defeat of ISIS, which is our common enemy and the greatest threat to regional and worldwide peace and security.”