The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) withdrew from several positions north and west of the US-led coalition base in al-Tanaf area near the Syrian-Iraqi borde, the Jordanian al-Ghad newspaper reported on November 5.
The newspaper said that the SAA withdrew from its positions on the Damascus-Baghdad highway west of the al-Tanaf base during the last weeks. The SAA also withdrew from Wadi al-Wa’r village on the Syrian-Iraqi border and several other areas north of al-Tanaf.
Saeed Saif, an official of the US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) group – Ahmad al-Abdo Forces, accused the SAA of withdrawing in order to open a route for ISIS towards the al-Tanaf base. Said stressed that the US-backed FSA groups in al-Tanaf base are not willing to advance and capture the empty areas, because of “bad experience” they had in fighting against the SAA and ISIS previously.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Abu al-Atheer spokesperson of the US-backed Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawra FSA group told al-Ghad that the SAA withdrew its units from some positions around al-Tanaf only to reinforce its ongoing military operation towards al-Bukamal city. The SAA withdrawal will likely change nothing on the ground around al-Tanaf base.
Al-Ghad also revealed that the US-led coalition established a new base near Rukban refugee camp southeast of al-Tanaf base on the Syrian-Jordanian border. The US-led coalition deployed 100 Special Forces soldiers to the new base, according to al-Ghad.
The recent movements of the SAA and the US-led coalition around al-Tanaf will not likely effect the situation there. It appears that the Russian-American agreement regarding the area is still held very well.
Back on October 21, an SAA officer who was deployed on the Syrian-Jordanian border told South Front that the SAA withdrew from garrison 204 to garrison 198 on the border due to the Russian-American agreement.