The US-led coalition had deployed addition military equipment at its garrison in the southeastern Syrian area of al-Tanf, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on June 17.
According to the London-based monitoring group, a convoy of five trucks loaded with logistic supplies and military equipment entered al-Tanf garrison coming from Jordan late on June 16. The convoy was escorted by four armored vehicles.
The equipment were deployed just hours after a series of Russian airstrikes that targeted the US-led coalition’s main proxy group in al-Tanf, Maghaweir al-Thowra (MaT).
The Russian airstrikes were reportedly a response to a recent attack by the MaT that resulted in Russian military casualties. The US-led coalition was alerted ahead of the airstrikes, which caused material losses only.
Around 200 US troops and 300 MaT are usually present in al-Tanf garrison, which was established in 2016. The US-led coalition maintains a 55-kilometer no-fly zone around the garrison. Despite this, Russian warplanes fly over the garrison on a regular basis.
The exact nature of the additional military equipment the US-led coalition deployed at al-Tanf garrison remains unclear as of now.
The coalition is known to maintain a battery of several M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) at al-tanf. The systems can be armed with MGM-140 ATACMS tactical ballistic missiles with a range of 300 kilometers.
The Russian airstrikes on MaT were most likely a message to the US, who insists on staying in al-Tanf to block a strategic highway that links the Syrian capital, Damascus, with the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. Washington claims that its forces are in the area to counter ISIS.
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