A US-backed militant group, Maghaweir al Thowra, repelled an alleged ISIS attack near the US-led coalition garrison of At Tanf in southeastern Syria, the coalition said in a statement on November 20. The US-backed force killed 9 ISIS members and destroyed several vehicles.
According to the statement, ISIS militants peneterated the Syrian Army lines before they attacked the US-backed militants.
The full coalition’s statement (source):
The Maghaweir al Thowra, a fighting force native to southern Syria, engaged and defeated an attempted terrorist attack in the de-confliction zone near At Tanf. MaT has been fighting Daesh and maintaining security of a 55-km radius de-confliction zone at the tri-border area of Iraq, Syria and Jordan since 2015.
Da’esh terrorists in vehicles with blacked-out headlights penetrated Syrian regime lines into the de-confliction zone. Coalition and partner forces ordered the vehicles to halt, upon which Daesh terrorists dismounted and began firing. Coalition and MaT partners returned fire, killing 9 Daesh members and destroying several vehicles.
Throughout the event, Coalition officials and their Russian counterparts used the de-confliction telephone line to ensure forces on the ground did not belong to Russia or the Syrian Regime.
“Though Daesh has lost over 95% of the land it once claimed as part of its so-called physical ‘caliphate,’ this exchange of fires in southern Syria is evidence the terrorist organization still poses a threat to the people of southern Syria,” said Special Operations Joint Task Force Director of Operations, Col. Owen Ray. “This skirmish also underscores the Coalition’s commitment to remain in the region until Daesh is defeated.”
The MaT’s actions demonstrate Syrians taking control of their territory following a brutal Daesh occupation. The Coalition – working by, with and through partner forces – remains committed to the enduring defeat of Daesh, and to preventing its re-emergence as a terrorist force.
Most likely, the statement is aimed to explain that the US needs the at Tanf garrison to “combat” ISIS, while, in fact, it uses the garrosin to keep control over the Damascus-Baghdad highway.