U.S.-backed militants who were recently ambushed by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) near al-Tanaf garrison in southeastern Syria were smuggling weapons to ISIS, Mzahem Alsaloum, the former spokesman for the defunct U.S.-backed New Syrian Army, revealed on July 8.
The militants were ambushed by the SAA outside the 55-km zone around al-Tanaf early on July 7. Three were killed and three others were captured alive by the army.
Alsaloum, who is known for having credible sources in al-Tanaf, said the six militants were on their way back from an arms deal with ISIS terrorists. The militants handed over weapons, which were brought from the 55 km deconfliction zone, to the terrorists.
“The regime had a tip about the smugglers group from collaborators into ISIS,” Alsaloum wrote on Twitter.
According to Alsaloum, the militants were working as smugglers for senior leaders in the U.S.-backed Revolutionary Commando Army, known as MaT. The activist didn’t reveal the identity of these leaders.
Russian journalist Oleg Blokhin identified the three captured militants as “Raed Hamad Ashrihi,” “Jassim Mohammed Al-Ali” and “Abdullah Hussam Al-Din Al-Mashout.”
The other day, a group of people was detained by the Syrian military who was trying to motorcycle from the Al-Tanf area into territory controlled by the Syrian government. When trying to cross, one of the motorbikes on which the militants traveled exploded in a mine. pic.twitter.com/33rkJstqk0
— Oleg Blokhin (@0legblokhin) July 8, 2020
Blokhin also revealed that the three militants are from the city of al-Bukamal in southern Deir Ezzor. All of them were former members of ISIS who enlisted in the ranks of MaT after having reached al-Tanaf.
ISIS terrorists in central Syria, who intensified their operations in the past few months, are apparently receiving supplies straight from U.S.-occupied al-Tanaf.
The U.S.-led coalition continues to train and arm MaT militants, despite their criminal activities and their close ties with ISIS. This indicates that the coalition itself may be involved in these activities or at least turning a blind eye to them.