Amid mudslinging over the firing of FBI head James Comey and allegations President Trump maintains deep ties to Russia, a U.S.-led coalition aircraft struck a convoy of Syrian government armed forces.
Buzzfeed reporter Mike Giglio
BREAKING: US official confirms to @BuzzFeedNews that the US-led Coalition hit Assad regime forces with air strikes in southern Syria today
— Mike Giglio (@mike_giglio) May 18, 2017
">tweeted:“BREAKING: US official confirms to @BuzzFeedNews that the US-led Coalition hit Assad regime forces with air strikes in southern Syria today.”
According to AFP, the coalition fighter bombed the convoy of President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in southern Syria near the border with Jordan and Iraq, as it headed to an outpost garrison run by the U.S.-led alliance.
An unnamed and thus unverifiable source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP,
“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.
“Then there was finally a strike against the lead portion of that movement.”
Reports say the garrison had been used by the British and American special operations forces to train Syrian rebel fighters — commonly referred to by the U.S. government by the misnomer, “moderate rebels.”
Giglio tweeted several as-yet unsubstantiated details, but posited the U.S. and its allies carried out the airstrike in the interest of protecting their troops and the ostensive training stronghold.
Giglio also noted militia fighters in support of Assad’s regime had been observed in the area where of the bombing.
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“US likely wants to get regime + allies to keep distance from US SF base at Tanf with strikes. But could escalate with myriad forces around.”
“rebels worried last week that regime forces would get too close to US SF base at Tanf. it seems that happened today, and Coalition struck.”
“On Monday, Al-Masdr News reported that Syrian Arab Army soldiers along and militias affiliated with the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units are preparing to recapture the nearby Tanf Border crossing from Daesh [the Islamic State],” Russian state-supported Sputnikreports.
Syrian rebels ostensively feared the close proximity of pro-government forces, Giglio also reports — understandable sentiment for those actively fighting to bring down the regime of Bashar al-Assad, which, while not recognized or condoned by the U.S., is widely considered legitimate.
While the U.S. only quasi-officially entered the conflict in Syria in April, upon the direct but peculiar bombing of an older airfield, ordered by Trump after still unproven allegations Assad had attacked his own people with noxious, deadly chemical weapons.
Fighting the Islamic State has thus far been the stated goal of operations for the U.S.-led, multi-State coalition of forces — but that alliance hasn’t exactly had a perfect record of accuracy, and has indeed struck Assad’s troops before.
“On September 17, 2016,”Sputnik notes, “US-led coalition aircraft carried out four strikes against the Syrian army near the Deir ez-Zor airport, killing 62 soldiers and wounding some 100. The Pentagon said that the airstrike was a mistake and was intended to target Daesh militants, while a number of Syrian officials stated that the attack was intentional. Later, the Pentagon released a report claiming that the US-led coalition's forces struck the Syrian army in Deir ez-Zor as a result of an ‘unintentional, regrettable error.’”
News of this strike — for which only a paucity of information has been made available thus far — comes right as headlines have exploded in controversy with allegations the U.S. President might have cozied too close to the Russian Federation.
Some outlets surmised the reason Trump fired Comey was to install another head of the Feds less prone to probe further into the president’s associations with Russia. Others proffered that Trump should be charged for sharing classified information on U.S. efforts to fight the Islamic State with several Russian officials.
Most of those reports failed to name officials and sources, and did not include evidence to unassailably confirm their veracity.
As this conflagration continues to be fanned by mainstream media, it would seem the U.S. has no issue going full steam ahead with its contentious aims of regime change in Syria — where it directly opposes Moscow and Russian military support of the Syrian government.
This article will be updated when and if further information becomes available.