On November 18, the US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) group, Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawra, disbanded 180 of its fighters who had been serving in the US-led coalition garrison in the area of al-Tanaf, near the Syrian-Iraqi border, the pro-Syrian opposition news website Enab Baladi has reported.
First lieutenant Abu al-Atheer al-Khabouri, spokesman for Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawra, told Enab Baladi that the fighters were disbanded due to their misbehavior. Al-Khaburi said that all the fighters handed over their weapons and received 2,000$ before leaving al-Tanaf towards the Rukban refugee camp on the Syrian-Jordanian border.
Some Syrian opposition activists said that the Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawra decision is a part of the ongoing preparations to hand over the al-Tanaf base to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) within a deal between the US and Russia.
However, the pro-opposition Hammurabi’s Justice News claimed that a source from the US-led coalition had told it that the decision was taken “due to the successes against ISIS in southern Syria”. The source also said that the decision is part of the US-led coalition effort to make the FSA “more professional & agile as the security situation changes”.
The US-led coalition base in al-Tanf lost all of its strategic value after the SAA and its allies reached al-Bukamal city on the Syrian-Iraqi border. Due to this, there is a chance that the US-led coalition might be considering to close down the base in the near future.