U.S. al-Tanf base hinders Syrian army’s advance against ISIS

Moscow, SANA – Russian Defense Ministry said that the illegal US military presence in al-Tanf area near the Syrian–Jordanian border hinders the Syrian army’s operations against ISIS terrorists in the eastern area and prevents access of humanitarian aid to Rukban camp on the Syrian–Jordanian border.

“In reality, al-Tanf has turned into a 100-kilometer ‘black hole’ on the Syrian-Jordanian state border. And, instead of the Free Syrian Army, it is spewing ISIS mobile groups who make inroads to launch subversive terrorist operations against Syrian troops and civilians,” the Ministry’s spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said on Friday.

“The illegal establishment of the US military base on the Syria-Jordanian border in April 2017 was publicly justified by the ‘need to conduct counter-ISIS operations.’ But we know of no US
operation that was launched against ISIS in the past six months of its existence,” Konashenkov added.

He went on criticizing the US’s al-Tanf base by saying “Rukban refugees are de facto hostages, effectively a ‘human shield’ for the US base. Think about it, other than by Americans such ‘protection’ barriers are used in Syria only by those who they came here to fight, the terrorists.”

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, attacks against the Syrian army have repeatedly been carried out from the 50-kilometer zone around al-Tanf on the Syrian-Jordanian border where the “US military mission” is located.

In the small hours of September 28, about 300 ISIS gunmen moved from the areas close to the inhabited community of Rukban to the city of Al-Qaryatayn in the Homs province using dozens of off-
road vehicles, the Ministry was cited.

A large group of terrorists successfully bypassed all Syrian army posts near the inhabited communities of Harbat al-Shkhemi and al-Basiri, having the exact locations that can only be obtained through aerial reconnaissance. This terrorist unit tried to capture the dominant heights around the inhabited community of Al-Qaryatayn.

Shaza/H. Said

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