Early on November 24, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Iranian-backed armed factions held a joint live-fire exercise near the U.S.-led coalition al-Tanf garrison in the southeastern region of Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR)
The London-based monitoring group said that the joint exercise was held right outside the 55-kilometer no-fly zone the coalition maintains around al-Tanf garrison.
“Regime forces and the Iranian militias present at the outskirts of the 55-kilometer zone, that includes al-Tanf garrison, conducted a joint night exercise with heavy weapons to raise the combat readiness of their personnel,” the SOHR’s report reads.
Some 200 U.S. troops are usually deployed in al-Tanf garrison which blocks a strategic road that links the Syrian capital, Damascus, with Baghdad, the capital of neighboring Iraq.
SAA troops and Iranian-backed forces around al-Tanf 55-kilometer zone came under attack on several occasions recently. Earlier this month, the army repelled an attack by a group of militants who attempted to break out of the U.S.-controlled zone. Back then, it was suspected that the Army of Free Syria, previously known Maghaweir al-Thowra, was behind the break out attempt. The faction is the U.S. main proxy in al-Tanf.
The U.S.-led coalition have been working to reactivate its proxies in al-Tanf for a while now. In September, the coalition appointed a new radical leader for its proxies, then went on to reorganize and rebrand them. Later in October, the coalition approved a plan to boost their ranks with more than 2,000 new militants.
The SAA and its allies are apparently preparing for a possible military escalation around al-Tanf. The U.S.-led coalition and its proxies may be planning to relaunch an insurgency from the region.
I think crash test dummies are made in a likeness of some of the recruits.