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US-led Coalition Holds Exercise In Syria’s Al-Tanf Following Reports Of Partial Withdrawal (Video, Photos)

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US-led Coalition Holds Exercise In Syria's Al-Tanf Following Reports Of Partial Withdrawal (Video, Photos)

SOUTHWEST ASIA – U.S. Marines with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, attached to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force, Crisis Response-Central Command, engage targets during a live-fire demonstration near At-Tanf Garrison, Syria, Sept, 7, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Carlos Lopez)

The US-led coalition and its proxy, the Revolutionary Commando Army (MaT), have held yet another joint live-fire exercise in the southeastern Syrian area of al-Tanf where they maintain a large garrison.

On January 6, the MaT shared footage from the joint drills which saw US troops firing several rockets from their M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).

At least four HIMARS launchers are currently deployed at al-Tanf garrison. The system can fire a variety of rockets and missiles with a range of up to 300 kilometers.

Around 200 US troops and some 300 MaT fighters are usually present at al-Tanf. The US-led coalition maintains a 55 kilometers no-fly, no-drive zone around the garrison.

Earlier this week, the coalition withdrew most of its troops from al-Tanf to Jordan and ordered MaT fighters to take shelter around the garrison.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the coalition took these measures out of fear that pro-Iranian forces in Syria or Iraq may attack the garrison with suicide drones or rocket to honor the memory of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Deputy-Commander of the Popular Mobilization Units, and Iran’s Quds Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani, who were assassinated by the US exactly two years ago.

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. 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 both the October 20 attack and the December 14 drone incident.

The US-led coalition’s new live-fire exercise at al-Tanf is clearly meant to deny all the reports talking about a partial withdrawal from the garrison.


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