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US military conducts exercise in Syria amid growing US-Russian tensions

By Rudaw 7/9/2018
US Marines deploy in while conducting a resupply mission convoy at an undisclosed location in Iraq. File photo: US Marine Corps | Capt. Christian Lopez
US Marines deploy in while conducting a resupply mission convoy at an undisclosed location in Iraq. File photo: US Marine Corps | Capt. Christian Lopez

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Around a base near the Syria-Iran-Jordan border, the US-led international coalition conducted a show of force on Friday amid repeated reported violations of a Russian-US de-confliction zone in southeast Syria.


"The exercise involved an aerial assault by a company-sized dismounted element..." read a statement released by US Central Command (CENTCOM) on Friday.


The coalition maintains a garrison in Syria's At Tanf near the tri-country border, where it trains local tribal members of Maghawir al-Thawra (MaT) for the fight against ISIS.


“Our forces will demonstrate the capability to deploy rapidly, assault a target with integrated air and ground forces, and conduct a rapid exfiltration anywhere in the OIR combined joint operations area,” stated US Navy Capt. Bill Urban, the spokesman for CENTCOM.


The United States and Russia — the Assad regime's primary backer — agreed to a roughly 55 kilometer de-confliction zone around the coalition's At Tanf garrison in 2017. Both have said they have a hotline to avoid direct conflict. The area is called al-Waleed in Iraq. Coalition war planes struck advancing pro-Syrian forces in May 2017 and destroyed a drone this summer.


Most recently, the coalition told Rudaw English regarding reported strikes on Iranian forces in the area on September 3, "sometimes there are delays on strikes being reported." The coalition now releases strike reports on a weekly basis and is yet to release this week's. Often strikes remain “open” and can take weeks to close.


“The Coalition continues to train MaT forces in At Tanf in order to achieve our shared goal of defeating ISIS, and the MaT continues to interrupt movement of ISIS personnel and equipment through Al Tanf, proving that they are capable of securing the area,” added the coalition.


Moscow has warned the United States twice this week that Russia and Syrian regime forces are prepared to attack in an area where US troops are located, CNN reported on Friday, citing several unnamed US defense officials.


“Exercises like this bolster our defeat-ISIS capabilities and ensure we are ready to respond to any threat to our forces," added the CENTCOM statement.


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The kurdish nationalist | 8/9/2018
Both US and Russia are christian savage cultures destroying middel east. In the past it was savage christian colonialist England and France destroying middel east and dividing Kurdistan now its Americans and Russia. Who ever you blame for Kurdish suffering never forget it all started with Western colonialists entering middel east.
NoNo | 8/9/2018
"kurdish nationalist" my ass, yet another dumb cyber troll who thinks he's clever when he expresses his views under Kurdish name. Sorry chump, the vast majority of Kurds are pro Westeren, while the vast majority of Turks hate the West, look at the polls in Turkey. Same thing in Iran and most Arab countries.
The kurdish nationalist | 8/9/2018
Why troll? What is not true of what I said? Did christian western colonialist world did not divided destroyed Kurdistan crated other countrues with fake borders. Do the christian fascist world not use Kurds with fake lovley words that channels like rudaw always repead while we know this are fake words christians hate Kurdistan and never want independence for Kurds. Get you head of out your butt Kurds don't realise that christian capitalist west is their enemy that's why we are used and don't get independence.
ehh | 9/9/2018
Turks came frm mongols, need to say any more? @ fake so called nationalist dude. middle east was paradise yes before.
komang | 9/9/2018
no arab-no kurdi-no persian you are all humans brother...

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