Syria: Damascus And Its Allies Prepare To Remove U.S. Forces From Al-Tanf



On June 8 we asked if the then ongoing ISIS attack on Albu Kamal was part of a U.S. plan:

There is sneaking suspicion that the U.S. directed the ongoing ISIS attack on Abu Kamal to gain control over the crossing and to disable road supplies from Iran through Iraq into Syria.

The U.S. must be given no chance to use the ISIS pretext to take Abu Kamal. The Syrian government must rush to support its forces in the border city. It must immediately request that Iraqi forces cross the border from Al-Qaim and support the endangered Syrian troops.

Some reinforcement came in and Albu Kamal was soon back in Syrian government hands. The Syrian army also launched an operation to destroy ISIS positions in southeastern desert.

Southeast Syria (red: Syrian Army, green: U.S. zone around al-Tanf crossing to Iraq, grey: ISIS, yellow: U.S./Kurdish SDF)

But U.S. interference in the east continued:

The Russian military is warning of a false-flag “chemical incident” in Deir Ezzor governorate. The Syrian Observatory reports that Islamic State remnants in the southeastern desert and in the Rukban camp, both under cover of the U.S. occupied zone around al-Tanf, prepare for a large attack on Syrian government forces. It claims that such an attack is an attempt to occupy the zone between al-Tanf and Albu Kamal at the Euphrates. Both operation would be planned diversions intended to draw Syrian forces away from Deraa and could provide excuses for U.S. intervention on the opposition side.

Late Sunday an airstrike destroyed a building in the Harri area near Albu Kamal directly on the Syrian-Iraqi border. The building was used as a headquarter for the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU) who are securing the border in coordination with the Syrian army in the fight against the Islamic State. More than 20 fighters were killed and more than 10 were wounded. This may have been in preparation for the reportedly planned large ISIS attack.

Another serious incident followed last night when U.S. supported Maghawhir al-Thawra “rebels” (which include ‘former’ ISIS fighters) attacked Syrian government forces:

A Syrian army officer was killed in a U.S strike on a Syrian army outpost near a U.S. base close to the Iraqi-Syrian border, a commander in the regional alliance supporting President Bashar al-Assad told Reuters.The Pentagon, said, however, that a U.S.-backed Syrian rebel group stationed in the Tanf garrison had engaged on Thursday evening an “unidentified hostile force” outside a “deconfliction zone” around the garrison, forcing it to retreat. It said there were no casualties on either side.

The Syrian Observatory claims that eight Syrian soldiers were killed in the attack. There is some footage of a desert chase with “technicals” that is supposed to be from these clashes. They took place in al-Halba, 70 kilometers northwest of al-Tanf and only 50 kilometers from Palmyra.

The U.S. sent “rebels” it trains at al-Tanf outside its self declared 55 kilometers deconfliction zone around Tanf to attack Syrian government forces. It supported them by air strikes. U.S. special forces are said to have taken part. This is likely the case as only U.S. special forces can call in such airstrikes.

It seems obvious that the U.S. is using ISIS, U.S. trained “Maghawhir al-Thawra” rebels, and its air power in another attempt to cut the land route between Syria and Iraq. It wants to use the upcoming Syrian campaign against al-Qaeda and ISIS in the southwest around Daraa to make a new move in the east.

But Syria and its allies will not allow that. They are building up their own forces in the east. As Elijah Magnier reported yesterday:

[D]uring my visit to the city of Palmyra and its surroundings, the presence of thousands of Russian troops is striking, indicating that Moscow is sending new infantry and special forces in very large numbers. This large presence has not been announced.

The Syrian army is also sending additional forces into the area and more Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units have arrived in the Al-Qaim/Albu-Kamal area.

Syria and its allies obviously decided to counter the U.S. move. Their operations at the Syrian-Iraqi border are coordinated by the common operation room in Baghdad.

Last night Syria, Iraq, Iran and Russia again discussed the situation in the east and made their decision:

SURA @AlSuraEnglish – 23:47 UTC – 21 Jun 2018#BREAKING – #Iraq, #Syria, #Russia and #Iran confirm new mission to secure the #Iraqi-#Syrian border from all terrorist groups. The mission was devised in the operations room in Iraq’s capital, #Baghdad.

via Sura – Iraqi, Syrian, Iranian and Russian officers in the operations room Baghdad –

“All terrorist groups” include the Maghawhir al-Thawra “rebels” and their U.S. protectors at al-Tanf.
Meanwhile the Syrian army continues its preparations for the large attack around Daraa which might bring it in conflict with Israel.

The U.S. again issued a nonsensical warning against such an attack but with a significant change in its wording:

The statement, however, omitted a line in a past statement on the subject that said the U.S. would take “firm and appropriate measures” if Syria violated the de-escalation measure.

It has been confirmed that Iran will not be involved in the fight in Daraa (We had noted that . three weeks ago.) Hizbullah special forces might take part in the areas near the Lebanese border. Jordan reinforced its position on its side of the border. It is unlikely to join any fight but it will want to keep fleeing “rebels” from entering the country.

The operation in the southwest around Daraa will proceed. The U.S. attempts to use the occasion to cut Syria from Iraq in the east will be prevented by the new Baghdad operations room mission. It’s high time for the U.S. to give up on its nonsense schemes in the southeast. The humanitarian situation in the Rukban camp near the U.S. positions in al-Tanf is catastrophic and the civilians there want to come back under Syrian government control. The al-Tanf position is indefensible against any larger force. The U.S. forces there can still move out without a fight. If they do not leave voluntarily, force will be used to remove them.

Posted by b on June 22, 2018 at 06:30 AM | Permalink

SELECT Comments

One can try to do all things at the same time, but reality proves that to be a delusional obsession. Could this really be the end? If the warmongers get their way, the whole of the area will go up in smoke if not even nuclear mushroom clouds. Will that price be worth it, for no one will escape the carnage inflicted if it does come about.

Posted by: Eugene | Jun 22, 2018 7:15:57 AM | 1

I’m very happy to hear Al Tanf will be cleared of U.S. forces; about time.
The determination of the SAA is impressive. They have effectively done more in 2 years than the lame assed U.S. in 7 years.
Of course this also speaks very highly of Russian accumen in such endeavors (lots of experience in Chechnya).

Posted by: V | Jun 22, 2018 7:45:59 AM | 2

I would add this, very important; the body counts in Russian ops is considerably, very considerably, lower than the U.S.’s bomb the shit out of everything, civilians be damned…

Posted by: V | Jun 22, 2018 7:54:54 AM | 3

The US is a military dictatorship. It will continue to fight until it is destroyed. This an insane situation, but it is the reality we are faced with. China and Russia find themselves in a steel cage death match with the US. They have no choice but to fight, which they are aware of, and doing the best they can. But this affair well not end well for any of us, or all of us.

Posted by: mike k | Jun 22, 2018 8:14:45 AM | 4

Has anyone noticed Russian forces handing out aid and moving about markets and areas that were recently liberated from terrorists? Any time such things happened in Iraq US forces were shot at and why US forces pretty much shot everyone on the road and did not mix with the civilians like we see Russians do. Russian doctors in make shift tents treat civilians, in iraq you had to go inside fortified bases to find any doctors. People dont seem to make a connection. Even with rebels, Russia soldiers seem to get along.. I saw them driving motor cycles and exchanging gifts and such. They dont trust the Syrian army but Russians are considered neutral. This also is a huge difference where locals did not trust the iraqi government or US forces. Russians must be doing something very different to be seen as not a threat and impartial referees by all sides.

Posted by: igybundy | Jun 22, 2018 8:20:07 AM | 5

On the plus side, Nuttyahoo’s wife has been indicted on charges of fraud. If Nutty himself is seriously in line for such charges, then he will pull a false flag to get out of it.

Posted by: Yonatan | Jun 22, 2018 8:24:19 AM | 6

Iran is upping the ante off of Yemen with a couple of warships………

If Iran starts doing escort duty for any blockade runners KSA is going to find itself in quite a quandary. Whoever sinks one of those warships will give Iran the pretext to crush them.

Posted by: Whozhear | Jun 22, 2018 8:50:40 AM | 7

We must not forget here, that Trump is still not free of (false) accusations he colluded with Russians. If he does something that favors Russia, or fails to do something against Russia, he will be seen as colluding with Russia, even among his supporters. If Syria kills a single American soldier or mercenary, Trump could be forced to act against Syria. And if the Russians attack the US in defense of Syria, Trump WOULD be forced to act.

Moreover, Trump is planning, or is scheduled to have, a summit with Putin. Elements of the US military may try to sabotage it by hitting Syria or Russia or provoking an attack from them.

The best thing to do is for Trump to order a withdrawal of US troops from the area before an ‘incident’ occurs. But Syria cannot make that happen. I hope Putin and Trump are having private discussions.

Posted by: David Wooten | Jun 22, 2018 9:12:46 AM | 8

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