The US al-Tanf garrison in southeastern Syria was subjected to a “deliberate and coordinated” attack utilizing “drones and indirect fire [rockets],” the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said on October 21.
Capt. Bill Urban, a spokesman for the CENTCOM, said that the attack, which took place late on October 20, didn’t result in any injures among US troops. According to the spokesman, the CENCTOM is now working with its Syrian proxies to confirmed if they suffered any casualties as a result of the attack.
“We maintain the inherent right of self-defense and will respond at a time and place of our choosing,” Capt. Urban said in a statement.
Some 200 US troops are known to be deployed at al-Tanf garrison that blocks the Damascus-Baghdad highway. The US-led coalition maintains a 55 kilometers no-fly, no-drive zone around the garrisons.
The CENTCOM has not made any accusations, yet. However, many news sources said that the attack was carried out by Iranian-backed forces. The drones and rockets were simultaneously launched from Syria and Iraq.
Last week, the Allies of Syria Operations Room, which commands Iranian-backed forces in Syria, vowed to response “very harshly” to the October 13 Israeli airstrikes that targeted the outskirts of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. The airstrikes were launched from the airspace of al-Tanf.
The US will likely respond to the attack on al-Tanf by attacking positions of Iranian-backed forces in both Syria and Iraq, as it did on several occasions before. This may lead to a very serious escalation. Iranian-backed forces have proven time after time that they are more than willing to strike back.