United States warplanes again strike militias near Syrian-Jordanian border

  • United States warplanes again strike militias near Syrian-Jordanian border

United States warplanes again strike militias near Syrian-Jordanian border

Both times, the Pentagon said, were in self-defense.

US-led coalition forces destroyed what were reportedly pro-Syrian regime forces near al Tanf in southeast Syria on Tuesday, Operation Inherent Resolve officials said in a release.

What is worse—as the U.S. air force was bombing the Syrian army—US-backed rebels were bragging about attacking Syrian forces sitting just outside the 55 kilometer perimeter with their artillery.

On May 18, the US -led coalition attacked a column of fighters who were moving into another well-demarcated de-confliction zone in the country's south. After warnings, both through the hotline and overhead passes, USA aircraft struck a number of their vehicles. That convoy, roughly 29 kilometres from the USA outpost, came to halt.

US -backed rebels took At Tanf from Islamic State past year and regional intelligence sources say they mean to use it as a launchpad to capture Bukamal, a town on Syria's border with Iraq and an important jihadist supply route. "But we will defend our troops", Mattis said, when asked about the first strikes. But instead, the pro-regime forces begin bringing in additional fighters and equipment - a move that USA forces deemed a threat to American troops and prompted the bombing, the official said.

Al-Tanf on the Syrian-Jordanian border, which Russian warplanes bombed a year ago in two successive airstrikes, is manned by U.S. and British Special Forces that are advising an anti-ISIS Syrian rebel group known as Maghawir al-Thawra, or the Commandos of the Revolution.

The Syrian army confirmed that US-led airstrike struck Syrian military unit near the Iraqi borders on Tuesday.

Lt Gen Steve Townsend, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said the twin offensives against Mosul and Raqqa are harming Islamic State's prestige and ability to recruit new loyalists.

The area is seen as crucial to Assad's Iranian allies and would open an overland supply route from Tehran to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon - the "Shiite crescent" of Iranian influence that is a major concern to US-allies in the region.

Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told dpa earlier that more than half of the neighbourhood of al-Mosheileb was now in the hands of the SDF forces.

Details remain murky, but multiple reports state that coalition airpower has struck pro-Assad militia forces once again near the coalition-backed rebel outpost at At Tanf, located roughly 20 miles northeast of the Jordanian border.

The United States sought to keep all sides focused on battling Islamic State, or ISIS.