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US Ramps Up ‘Combat Power’ at Syrian Base as Pro-Regime Forces Close In


The United States has bolstered its firepower at a small training base in southern Syria in recent days as a group of Iran-supported militiamen backing the Syrian government are encamped nearby and refuse to move.


Despite repeated warnings, the small group of fighters about 17 miles northwest of the Tanf base have not moved outside the established non-conflict zone, which extends about 35 miles around the outpost near the Jordanian border, said Army Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the Operation Inherent Resolve coalition. The U.S.-led coalition trains Syrian rebels to fight ISIS at the base.

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“We have increased our combat power in that area,” Dillon told reporters at the Pentagon during a phone call from Baghdad. “We have increased our presence and our footprint in the area and prepared for any threat that is presented by the pro-regime forces.”

The United States has used communication channels with the Russian military, which also backs Syrian President Bashar Assad, and an airdrop of 90,000 leaflets over the weekend to warn the fighters to move away from Tanf, Dillon said. The fighters belong to the same group that the United States attacked May 18 for moving too close to the Tanf base.

Dillon said there are “a couple hundred” coalition, including U.S. special operators and Syrian rebels at the base, and the coalition has also increased its airpower directly over the area to defend the base, as needed. He declined to detail the firepower added to the base in recent days. He also declined to say how many pro-government forces have gathered near the coalition base at Tanf.


In addition to the small group of fighters inside the non-conflict area, the coalition is also concerned about a growing formation of the militia on the edge of the zone, Dillon said. The United States has observed the militia, which Defense Secretary Jim Mattis recently described as “Iran-directed,” move fighters, tanks, artillery and other weaponry up to the border of the zone to the northwest of Tanf. Dillon said fighters also are patrolling along the non-conflict zone’s border to the north and east of the base and building fighting positions.

Source- Military Times

Source- AFF

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