This US base in Syria is a huge thorn in Russia and Iran’s side — but they can’t do much more than complain about it

Members of 5th Special Forces Group (A) conducting 50. Cal Weapons training during counter ISIS operations at Al Tanf Garrison in southern Syria.

Moscow, Tehran and the Syrian regime have repeatedly accused the US of training ISIS fighters at the al-Tanf garrison, but all they’ve been able to do is complain about it.
In reality, the base disrupts the flow of weapons from Iraq to Damascus.
It also has served as a training ground for Syrian rebels fighting Damascus, which US analysts say are not terrorists.

Russia and the Syrian regime warned the US in early September that they planned to carry out counterterrorism operations near a key US garrison in southeastern Syria known as al-Tanf, where several hundred Marines have been stationed since at least 2016.

But the US responded with a live-fire exercise, and the Russians backed down.

In fact, the al-Tanf garrison has long drawn the ire of Moscow, Tehran and the Syrian regime — but all they’ve been able to do is complain about it.

The US is “gathering the remnants of the Islamic State at this base in order to later send them wage war on the Syrian army,” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said in late September, according to Sputnik, a Russian state-owned media outlet.

“According to satellite and other surveillance data, terrorist squads are stationed [at al-Tanf],” Russian General Valery Gerasimov told Russia’s Pravda in late 2017. “[Terrorists] are effectively training there.”

Iran’s Press TV also cited Gerasimov’s quote in a June 2018 article titled, “US forces training terrorists at 19 camps inside Syria: Russian expert.”

Without any real evidence, US adversaries have lobbed many rhetorical attacks against the US forces for supposedly harboring or training terrorists at al-Tanf.

Damascus and Russian state-owned media even claimed in June that the US was preparing a “false flag” chemical attack “identical to the kind that took place in Douma” at al-Tanf.

“The U.S. led Coalition is here to defeat ISIS, first and foremost, and that is the objective of the presence in at al-Tanf,” US Army Colonel Sean Ryan, a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, told Business Insider in an email.

“No U.S. troops have trained ISIS and that is just incorrect and misinformation, it is truly amazing some people think that,” Ryan said.

The US has trained Syrian rebels at al-Tanf, namely a group called Maghawir al Thawra, which “is fairly secular by regional standards and has been at the forefront of the …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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