The US-led coalition continues to train its proxies in the southeastern Syrian area of al-Tanf where it maintains a large garrison.
On December 28, the coalition’s main proxy group in al-Tanf garrison, the Revolutionary Commando Army (MaT), shared several photos showing a recent joint weapons training. During the training, MaT militants fired SPG-9 73 mm recoilless guns and other heavy weapons with coalition troops.
Teamwork is essential to mission readiness. Soldiers from @MaghaweirThowra & #US_Forces during a weapons training. #Defeat_Daesh #StrongerTogether #altanf #Al_Tanf #Syria @OIRSpox @SOJTF_LEVANT @CJTFOIR pic.twitter.com/tyOireKzMa
— مغاوير الثورة (@MaghaweirThowra) December 27, 2021
Around 200 US troops are usually deployed at al-Tanf garrison, which was established in 2016. The US-led coalition maintains a 55 kilometers no-fly, no-drive zone around the garrison.
On October 20, al-Tanf came under attack. The garrison was targeted with five suicide drones and indirect fire. The attack resulted in some serious material damage. However, there were no casualties. In response, the US-led coalition and the MaT held two live-fire exercises in al-Tanf in November.
The exercises were likely an attempt to deter Iran and its allies in Syria and Iraq, who were reportedly behind the attack. The attempt failed, however.
On December 14, a warplane of the Royal Air Force shot down one of two small drones that breached al-Tanf’s no-fly zone. US officials believe that Iran or Iranian-backed forces were behind the incident.
While the US claims that its forces are present in al-Tanf to counter ISIS, the real purpose of the garrison is to block a highway that links the Syrian capital, Damascus, with Iraqi capital, Baghdad. Washington wants to keep Iran’s allies in the two countries away from the strategic highway.