The US-led coalition and its Syrian proxies conducted night live drills in the 55km zone around the southeastern Syrian area of al-Tanaf on April 13.
“The Revolutionary Commando Army and Coalition Forces are participating in night-time exercises using various types of weapons to increase lethality against Daesh [ISIS]. The exercise was a complete success and no one was hurt in the training area,” the Revolutionary Commando Army said in a short press release.
The US-backed group released a video showing the coalition’s High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) conducting a live firing exercise in the course of the drills. The rocket system was deployed in al-Tanaf more than a year ago.
The @MaghaweirThowra and Coalition Forces are participating in night-time exercises using various types of weapons to increase lethality against #Daesh. The exercise was a complete success and no one was hurt in the training area.#Altanf #Syria #Defeat_Daesh #Rukban pic.twitter.com/wARbDnsfQ7
— مغاوير الثورة (@MaghaweirThowra) April 13, 2019
Last March, the US-led coalition held two similar drills in the 55km zone. The coalition claimed that these drills were aimed at countering ISIS. However, local observers believe that U.S. forces are trying to deter Damascus and its allies, who stepped up their military presence around al-Tanaf over the last few months.
Around 200 U.S. service members are currently deployed in the al-Tanaf base, which is located on a strategic highway linking the Iraqi capital of Baghdad with the Syrian capital of Damascus.