Syria says US-led coalition U.S. air strike hit ‘military point’
A military source on the Syrian government side said on Friday that an air strike by the U.S.-led coalition against a pro-Damascus militia the day before hit “one of our military points”, without elaborating, Syrian state TV reported, according to Reuters.
From its part, AFP said that the source described that attack as “brazen” and that it undermined claims the alliance is fighting extremists.
“On Thursday at 16:30, the so-called international coalition attacked one of the Syrian Arab Army’s positions on the Al-Tanf road in the Syrian Badia region, producing a number of martyrs and causing material damage,” a military source told state media.
“This brazen attack by the so-called international coalition exposes the falseness of its claims to be fighting terrorism,” it added.
Thursday, US-led coalition aircraft struck a pro-regime convoy in Syria as it headed toward a remote coalition garrison near the Jordanian border, a US defense official said.
“A convoy going down the road didn’t respond to numerous ways for it to be warned off from getting too close to coalition forces in At-Tanf,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
“Then there was finally a strike against the lead portion of that movement.”
The official was “not sure” which forces were in the convoy but they “were clearly working with the Syrian” regime.
The At-Tanf Garrison is used by elite US and British commandos and has come under repeated attacks in the past.
Attempts to stop the convoy included a call to the Russians — who are working with the Syrian regime — then a “show of force” in the skies above the vehicles, followed by warning shots.
The official said the convoy was “significant” in size, but only the lead vehicles were hit.
Describing the hours-long event as an “escalation-of-force situation,” the official said it did not signal a strategic shift for the coalition, which remains focused on fighting the Islamic State group.
America has been militarily involved in Syria since 2014 but has for the most part avoided engaging directly in the country’s civil war.
At-Tanf has been the target of repeated attacks in recent months.
Last month, US-led allied forces and Syrian rebels thwarted a significant IS attack on the base.
And in June last year, Russian warplanes bombed the outpost, reportedly just one day after British Special Forces had pulled out.