U.S.-Led Coalition Strikes Pro-Regime Convoy in Syria


U.S.-led coalition aircraft Thursday struck a pro-regime convoy apparently transporting Shia militiamen in Syria as it headed toward a remote coalition garrison near the Jordanian border, U.S. defense officials said.

While officials stressed the defensive strike did not signal deepening U.S. involvement in Syria's civil war, it nonetheless raises questions about the ongoing feasibility for the coalition to maintain its singular focus on the Islamic State group.

In a statement, the coalition said the strike had occurred "well inside" an established de-confliction zone northwest of the At-Tanf garrison, where British and U.S. commandos have been training and advising local forces fighting IS. 

"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," a U.S. defense official told AFP on condition of anonymity. 

"Then there was finally a strike against the lead portion of that movement."

A second defense official told AFP the forces in the convoy appeared to have been Shia militia.

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 first official said the convoy was "significant" in size, but only the lead vehicles were hit.

Coalition officials said Russian forces had apparently unsuccessfully tried to dissuade the pro-regime movement south.

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 IS group.

Yehya al-Aridi, a spokesman for the Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee in Geneva, praised the strike.

"We welcome robust action against the foreign forces who have turned Syria into a killing field," he said.

"Iran and its militias have kept (President Bashar-al) Assad in power. They cannot be allowed to wage war on our soil with impunity." 

America has been militarily involved in Syria since 2014 but has for the most part avoided engaging directly in the country's civil war.

The biggest exception to this was a U.S. cruise missile attack on a Syrian airbase last month in response to a suspected chemical attack by the regime.

At-Tanf has been the target of repeated attacks in recent months.

Last month, U.S.-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.

Comments 19
Thumb lubnani.masi7i 18 May 2017, 20:12

obliterate those terrorists

Thumb gigahabib 19 May 2017, 11:39

Spoken like a true SaudiSalafi.

Thumb eagledawn 18 May 2017, 20:27

"ado.australia :
Yes... Israel now needs permission from Russia to fly in Syria and Lebanon and even in northern Israel! S-400 is a game changer and now only the US F22 raptors can do anything without Russian permission!"

Thumb ashtah 18 May 2017, 20:50

I remember the same 'character' saying the U.S needs russian permission to fly over SYRIA.

Thumb marcus 18 May 2017, 20:32

it is already done texas. That route is now cut

Thumb ashtah 18 May 2017, 20:53

marcus is right. Read this:

Iran changes course of road to Mediterranean coast to avoid US forces

Thumb Southern...... 18 May 2017, 20:35

and there are still some who believe that Usa does not support the terrorists, international terrorism!

btw, the Syrian govt with the resistance and Russian support are in their way to finish with those terrorists, thus this warmonger soon will have no option to remain, but to back to the ranchs in Texas.

Thumb Southern...... 18 May 2017, 20:54

what a childish behaviour is yours... ufff

Thumb whyaskwhy 18 May 2017, 22:08

Keep reading the same lies over and over and make yourself a good mujahid and become one of the many posters on the walls of el da7yi. You guys are a joke nothing more or less being played by both the Sryian and Iranian regime. Oh yeah and death to the Yids....

Thumb Southern...... 18 May 2017, 20:59

look at those terrorist supporters cheering and talking to each other as if they understand what's going on in Syria and Iraq... they don't realize that their cousins are being reduced to ashes and America will never be great again, because never it was.

Thumb illiterate-Southern 18 May 2017, 21:12

Thank you for helping me and many others in seeing these terrorist supporters for what they really are.

I always learn something from you no matter what the topic is. Please, keep posting.

Thumb s.o.s 18 May 2017, 22:37

Hehe, we'll al soon graduate with a BS degree in Takkiyism thanks to him.

Thumb Elemental 18 May 2017, 21:02

I like how the US gets at both ISIS and Iran, as they are under the same category. I wonder how Movaten/Southern/Mystique always praise Russia YET Russia is allied with Israel, double standards? Anyhow now that Obama is out of the presidency all this crap will be coming to an end, instead of him giving hundreds of billions to Iran and enabling other forms of this primitive ideology to advance. Iran is a cofounder of Daesh, drug supplier, and at the same time get's their fetish satisfied by killing them at the same time. They started this mess, now the rest of the civilized world will finish it.

Thumb Elemental 18 May 2017, 21:52

Southern, Where did I say Russia is fighting Israel you tool? I'm saying they're allies with them outside of this crap going on, very strong diplomatic ties. Your Takia is weak as usual, Implant cheat. And yes, Iran is a cofounder of ISIS and your dirty games are going to backfire.Nice try though, you get a bonus cookie.

Thumb Elemental 18 May 2017, 22:00

LOL advanced? SOOOOOO throwing gays off buildings and pushing drugs in to the region, imprisoning and torturing Christians, and having by far some of the WORST human rights records on the planet...and you say Iran is advanced? Doesn't exactly fill me with confidence.

Thumb gigahabiib 18 May 2017, 23:02

Southern: "think firts and then coment"
What is that incoherent babble? Turkish?

Thumb s-400_Triumf 18 May 2017, 21:41

What happened guys I was taking a nap, anything important?

Thumb s.o.s 18 May 2017, 22:36

God bless the coalition forces, the only people working for the interests of the Syrian people and our safety. Keep pounding all terrorist forces regardless of their religions. Beleivers never hijack Allah and its name.

Thumb gigahabib 19 May 2017, 11:38

Who said al Qaeda and ISIL doesn't have an airforce?