US-UK Military Presence in Syria Contributes to Escalating Conflict on Jordan-Iraq Border

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Originally appeared at 21stcenturywire.com

In southeastern Syria, the region around al-Tanf has quickly become a focal point for the ongoing conflict in the region. Near to both the Iraqi and Jordanian borders (see map below), al-Tanf is currently the location of a contingent of US-led coalition forces, supposedly there for the purpose of providing training to ‘anti-ISIS’ militias, but also anti-Assad militias too – the fabled ‘moderate rebels’. Not surprisingly, the US-led coalition has unilaterally imposed a self-styled ‘deconfliction zone‘ around their camp in al-Tanf and claim to be defending their position from ‘pro-Syrian forces’, otherwise known as the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and allied militias. It has been reported by mainstream media outlets that coalition members represented at al-Tanf include not only the United States but also the British SAS, and also possibly Norway too.

US-UK Military Presence in Syria Contributes to Escalating Conflict on Jordan-Iraq Border

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Although coalition forces are also present in other parts of Syria, including the area around Raqqa, an ISIS stronghold, the last few weeks have seen coalition forces striking Syrian military targets on at least three occasions near the coalition training camp close to al-Tanf – including incidents on May 18th, June 6th and June 8th. It is now being reported that the US is supplying “truck-mounted long range missiles” to its forces near al-Tanf, in a move that risks immediate escalation in the already-tense situation, and despite diplomatic efforts by Russia to calm the situation. All this comes as the US and its Kurdish proxy militia, the SDF, mount there attack on the ISIS stronghold Raqqa in Northeast Syria. The US have also seized the opportunity to invade more Syrian territory after an alleged sarin gas attack on April 4th that prompted President Trump to launch a missile strike on a Syrian airbase in retaliation.

In the following segment film two weeks ago, 21WIRE editor Patrick Henningsen speaks to RT International about the recent US strike on Syrian forces near Al Tanf. Henningsen explains how the US are taking advantage of the tension to secure its own territory inside of Syria:

US and Britain: A Policy of Deception

One could easily be confused by the narrative that is being spun by the US, Britain, and compliant mainstream media in both countries. Less than two years ago, in 2015, then British Prime Minister David Cameron ruled out sending British ground troops into Syria. In mid-2016, however, it emerged that British special forces were engaged in combat in the country. Between 2013 and 2015, former US President Barack Obama said on at least 16 occasions that there would be ‘no boots on the ground’ in Syria, but then changed his mind in late 2015 when US Special Forces were deployed into Syria.

President Trump’s statements are no less contradictory. On April 11th 2017, soon after his initial missile strikes on the Syrian airbase, Trump said that the US was “not going into Syria”; the current situation at al-Tanf simply contradicts that statement.

Since that time, both Britain and the US have been slowly ramping up their presence in Syria, ostensibly to fight ISIS. But by repeatedly striking at Syrian government forces the single most effective fighting force against ISIS the US and Britain are actually helping ISIS to achieve its objectives.

Note the mismatch between the US-led coalition’s presence in Syria and how it’s presented to the public. Not only do they claim to be fighting ISIS while at the same time indirectly helping them, but they also call their attacks on Syrian army targets ‘defensive’ – even though the Syrian military has never attempted to attack any coalition forces. And it is similarly ironic that these strikes against the Syrian military have occurred in what the coalition calls a ‘deconfliction zone’, where supposedly no conflict is allowed. According to security analyst Charles Shoebridge:

These are self-declared [US occupied] zones of ‘deconfliction.’ What they really mean there is that they are not allowing other people to enter these zones, notwithstanding that this is part of a sovereign country, Syria… What they mean is that actually conflict is allowed, and military forces, as long as they are American, British and their ‘rebel’ allies. They are not agreed deconfliction zones. Syria doesn’t agree to them. Russia, which of course has established de-escalation zones elsewhere in the country, hasn’t agreed to this. Consequently they really are, as [Russian Foreign Minister] Lavrov or his spokesman said, effectively unilateral zones.”

And not only is the narrative confusing, it is also not given the highest priority among mainstream headlines, with many other prominent stories conveniently serving to occupy the public while the situation in al-Tanf escalates. In a week that saw Congressmen shot at and injured at a baseball practice, a massive tower block fire in London taking at least 17 lives, and the UK election aftermath continuing to be unresolved, one could easily remain unaware of the escalating situation around al-Tanf in Syria. With the US-led coalition now directly and deliberately attacking Syrian forces, what has been a proxy war is suddenly growing more dangerous, and the prospect of a direct conflict between nuclear-armed powers looms ever closer.

As former British Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford remarked during a recent conversation with 21WIRE, the British military has neither Syrian approval to be in Syria, nor international approval from the UN, nor even legislative approval from its own Parliament. The same applies to the United States; although the US Constitution gives the power to declare war exclusively to Congress, the US now has quite a long history of entering wars or using deadly military force without Congressional approval under the flexible guise of an ‘Authorization of Force.’

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  • Free man

    ASS should not approach al-Tanf. The Americans are stuck there, they have nowhere to go.
    There is no point in provoking them. Americans are known for their disproportionate response.
    Assad should think coolly, as he usually does.

    • kraaiiii

      when al-Tanf got outflanked by the SAA there hasn’t been any action taken by SAA against the FSA, so Assad indeed plays it cool.

    • Bob

      Not so much stuck – rather the US has actively chosen to cross from Jordan and occupy Syrian territory – they can easily pack up and roll back to Jordan anytime time. This is really stark desert terrain – there is no infrastructure or basic resources that these ‘US training bases’ need anywhere near Al Tanf – they have to truck in everything they need from Jordan.
      Put simply, the US are aggressively and belligerently trying to stake out a land grab in south eastern Syria – their presence is an attempt to threaten Damascus itself – and equally an attempt to carve out an eastern land corridor to meet with the US controlled SDF in north east. But agreed is best not to give the US what they want – a reason to strike SAA formations and infrastructure.

  • FlorianGeyer

    Only when dead bodies of British soldiers killed IN Syria are returned to the UK will questions be ask in Parliament about the illegal presence of UK soldiers on Syrian soil. Most people in the UK , including politicians, are not aware that British troops are IN Syria.

    • Bob

      The UK public would never know even if were deaths – Special Forces are not the conventional army and details are vague – SOF are increasingly being used by NATO states to circumvent the required public and political procedures to deploy aggressive force in foreign countries. SOF are increasingly the Anglo-American contemporary version of unaccountable foreign legion.

      • Real Anti-Racist Action

        You are 100% right. The way the British work is when an SAS solder is lost, they often times cremate the body and return the body with a story (which sometimes the story is fabricated, sometimes it is the truth, sometimes it is half true)
        The family can never verify if the body died in an accident, or was shot, as it is cremated.
        Sometimes the body disappears, is lost, or Mi6 exacts revenge for SAS not going along with everything. So then random ashes are returned to the family that is not even necessarily the family member at all. And no one will ever know, as Mi6 does not even keep paper records of these events as Mi6 HQ.
        Fuuny, cause the Bible forbids the breaking of bones or destruction of bones of the dead. It is Paganism that believes is destroying bones. The bible says in the end times the dead will walk the earth (they cannot if their bones were destroyed).
        And the bible says the saints will rule with Christ when He returns, which comes after the coming anti-Christ. But saints without bones will not be ruling on the earth without their bones either. (An angle even had to fight Lucifer for Mosses bones for 3 days after he died, as Moses needs those bones if he is to return in the last days as a witness)
        It is important to Lucifer and to his ‘fake-Christians’ to destroy peoples bones when they die.
        http://faithandheritage.com/

    • goingbrokes

      It is really astonishing that the illegality of UK and US presence attracts no attention in the west. And I don’t mean the government, but there simply is no independent mass media in existence that doesn’t bury these important stories.

      • Real Anti-Racist Action

        That is because of who owns the media. This war in its beginning, middle and end are for Tel Aviv. And the next future war against Syria and Lebanon (which is suppose to be the death-blow) is also for Israel. This current war is just the softening up process.
        And since the war is for Israel, and Jews run the media, why would they shed light on the situation which would have the effect of bringing public opinion against a war that serves there interest so long as it keeps on going.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1O3eaXCxRUM

    • paulgilpin

      i disagree. the people of the west, read as the US, are sheeple. there is a minority of us, but we are a very small minority. the US is now run by a warmongering political class that would be perfectly happy to turn every country into what syria is today. they look at libya and syria as success stories. they must keep the MIC running, building those million dollar tomahawks.
      even though this is being done in my name, i have nothing/zero/nada in common with them.
      just look at what the CIA/MI6/Mossad is doing to Duterte. he calls the HNIC a son of a whore, and within six months ISIS shows up in the philippines. what a kawinkydink?

      • FlorianGeyer

        Let us hope that enlightened people like us can spread the message .

      • Real Anti-Racist Action

        You are 100% right, and only the Ashkenazi-Jews of Israel benefit from all of this.
        Spreading the truth is a powerful way to underline there power.
        Nothing will turn European-Socialist away. Norway, France, UK, Italy, and occupied-Germany will always serve this evil from now till they establish Lucifer and the faults Christ as leaders.
        However, America had a good foundation, if we convince enough Americas to take an opposite approach then Europeans, perhaps we can stay out of a lot of this crap in the future.
        http://faithandheritage.com/

  • gfsdyughjgd .

    USA and British are world number one terrorist breeders and supporters.Cause world instability.Plus puppet Nato and Israel members.Their killed Jesus and are waiting in their foolishness for another Jesus the messiah to come.

    • Real Anti-Racist Action

      You are 100% right, And the messiah they wait for is the Faults-Christ, who will lead them to ruin and slavery. And will impose the Mark of the Beast which Mi6 has already designed to be implanted on everyone.