A coalition of forces led by the United States launched an air assault that hit pro-Assad forces in Southern Syria, the second such attack since President Trump took office, a Pentagon official confirmed Thursday.
The strike took place in At Tanf, which is located near Syria’s border with Jordan and Iraq, the official said.
From the Independent:
The airstrike targeted the Syrian regime forces after they breached a “de-confliction zone”, according to CNN.
The US-led coalition commander first attempted to get the pro-Assad forces out of the zone by dispatching two US aircraft as “a show of force”. When the forces did not respond, the commander called for an airstrike.
A “de-confliction” zone, like a green zone, is defined as a safe zone for refugees that was established as part of an agreement between the United States, Russia, and Turkey.
Unlike the first strike, this order appears to have come from commanders in the field (rather than from the White House) as a response to touch-and-go events.
“Coalition forces have been operating in the At Tanf area for many months training and advising vetted partner forces engaged in the fight against ISIS,” said a statement released by the US-led coalition. “The agreed upon de-confliction zone agreement remains in effect.”
This from The Hill:
An official from a U.S.-backed rebel group told Reuters the bombing happened after his group clashed with the militia.
“We notified the coalition that we were being attacked by the Syrian army and Iranians in this point and the coalition came and destroyed the advancing convoy,” Muzahem al Saloum, from the Maghawir al Thwra group, said, according to Reuters.
The attack did draw criticism from at least one congressman:
If true, this is FRICKIN ILLEGAL. Trump does not have Congressional authorization to attack Syria, a country that has not attacked US. https://t.co/5cf7gBVwC7
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) May 18, 2017
One wonders what Mr. Lieu would have advised those forces to do. Surrender?
More on this later during Buck’s show…