Syrian Army's Anti-Terror Op Moving Closer to US Al-Tanf Base – Reports
Syrian Arabic-language newspaper Al-Watan reported, citing field sources, that the Syrian army units managed to take more lands near al-Tanf region under control.
According to the media outlet, Syrian government forces have exchanged fire with Daesh* militants in al-Mo'ayzileh region in Eastern Badiya (desert) as well as in the Eastern part of al-Alyaniyeh area in Homs, having inflicted a major blow to terrorists. The sources reportedly told al-Watan that army units have successfully moved further in the Eastern Homs Badiya towards al-Tanf region – where the US-led coalition has set up a training base.
At the same time, according to the sources, the army has sent more forces and equipment from the ancient city of Palmyra to Southern Badiya of Homs to tighten security around the town of al-Qaratayn, Huwarin village and the strategic region of Mheen. The army has reportedly taken precautions in order to prevent further infiltration of militants, having broadened the buffer zone around al-Qaryatayn to 80 kilometers in the eastern and southern directions. Such measures, according to al-Watan, will hinder the terrorists from drifting between Eastern and Western Qalamoun region to al-Tanf military base.
Since 2016, the US has been training Free Syrian Army militants at its military base in al-Tanf, however it has drawn much criticism from Damascus and Moscow, with the latter voicing concerns that Washington was "spewing Daesh mobile groups who make inroads to launch subversive terrorist operations against Syrian troops and civilians."
"The situation when the United States is virtually occupying a 55-kilometer [34-mile] zone around At-Tanf on the Syrian-Jordanian border without the consent of the Syrian Government, is bewildering. This zone includes the infamous Rukban refugee camp, where militants from illegal armed groups are freely moving near the US Armed Forces," the assistant to the secretary of the Russian Security Council told Sputnik.
The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against Daesh targets in Syria since 2014 without a UN mandate or authorization from the Damascus government. Syria views their presence as a violation of the country's national sovereignty.
*Daesh, also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS, a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries
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