The U.S.-led coalition in Syria launched a new round of airstrikes on Tuesday against forces loyal to the Syrian government. The U.S. has said these forces threatened the U.S. and partnered forces based in southern Syria.
“Despite previous warnings, pro-regime forces entered the agreed-upon de-confliction zone with a tank, artillery, anti-aircraft weapons, armed technical vehicles and more than 60 soldiers,” the coalition said in a statement, as reported by Reuters.
The strike should come as no surprise, as just yesterday it was reported that an Iranian-backed militia operating under the banner of the Syrian Arab Army have been amassing near a U.S. training base in the al-Tanf region.
This is the second time these pro-regime forces have been struck by the U.S.-led coalition in less than a month.
A report published in April this year by the London-based IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center, a leading security analysis agency, found that the majority of ISIS’ battles between April 1, 2016, and March 31, 2017, were fought against the Syrian military and its associated forces (such as the ones now repeatedly being struck by the U.S. military).
Striking these troops makes no sense in the wider context of attempting to defeat ISIS, but it does make perfect sense within the broader U.S. agenda, which aims to take control of the region and further weaken the Syrian government, a secular government that has been embroiled in a six-year battle with hardline extremists.
According to regional outlet al-Masdar, the Syrian Arab Army and associated forces have struck back against the U.S. military by attacking U.S.-backed forces on the ground. According to the report, the Syrian military seized several key points from U.S.-backed forces in rural Damascus.