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US airstrike on Syrian regime convoy near al-Tanf Open in fullscreen

Paul McLoughlin

US airstrike on Syrian regime convoy near al-Tanf

The US air strike hit regime forces after repeated warnings were ignored [AFP]

Date of publication: 18 May, 2017

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Syrian regime forces have been targeted in a US airstrike in eastern Syria, close to a rebel base that Damascus' forces have been advancing on.

US-led coalition aircraft have bombed a Syrian regime convoy in eastern Syria, close to a rebel-held enclave that has been at the centre of tensions between Washington and Damscus in recent days.

Tanks and other vehicles were said to be destroyed in the airstrike, which took place close to al-Tanf, a Free Syrian Army base close to the Jordanian border.

"A convoy going down the road didn't respond to numerous ways for it to be warned off from getting too close to coalition forces in al-Tanf," the official told AFP

Sources in the area confirmed to The New Arab that an airstrike took place in the area, but said it was likely a "warning shot" to pro-regime forces which have been advancing towards the al-Tanf rebel base in recent days.

The fortified area has been used by US and UK special forces to train and advise rebel fighters at the base who have been primed to fight the Islamic State group.

The regime has built up their forces in the area - including anti-aircraft weapons and tanks - in recent days and now lie around 15 miles from Tanf.

Reports suggest that the Kataib Imam Ali militia, a group of Shia fighters from Iraq are active in the area.

Damascus is said to be attempting to establish a supply route to Iraq, allowing for easier access for Iranian militias and weapons to Syria.

Capturing Tanf would open up a direct link between Syria and Iraq.

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