The US-led coalition has set up a new military base in Al-Zkuf, 70 km north-east of Al-Tanf near the Syrian-Iraqi border. According to the US-led coalition, the aim of the base is to fight ISIS. The base is located in 130 km from the city of Al-Bukamal in the province of Deir Ezzor. A US-backed militant group, Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawra will be involved in the effort.
The US Special Operations Forces as well as units from other US-led coalition member states continued training Free Syrian Army (FSA) members in the Al-Tanf base. The aim is to prepare for an attack on ISIS in the city of Al-Bukamal. However, the FSA has so far prefered launching attacks on the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the desert of Damascus.
On the other side, the SAA still maintains positions in 40 kilometers from the Al-Tanf base, as shown in a video posted on Saturday.
According to several pro-government sources, the SAA is still planning to advance to capture the Al-Tanf base in the nearest possible opportunity.
The real purpose of new US-led coalition base in Al-Zkuf is to prevent the SAA advance aimed at reaching the Syrian-Iraqi border. The Iraqi government as well as the Popular Mobilization Units may support Damascus’ counter-terrorism efforts in Syria.
This may also contribute to preventing Iran from transfering weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, This is an Israeli demand.