Alwaght- The fast-moving developments on the Iraqi-Syrian border areas have jumped in a highly sensitive stage as the American fighter jets directly attacked a convoy of the pro-Syrian forces on Thursday night while it was heading to the border area in eastern Syria.
The commander of the US-led anti-ISIS international coalition released a statement, saying that the airstrike hit a convoy of the pro-government forces on route to the Al-Tanf border crossing between Syria and Iraq.
Al-Tanf is a major path on the Syrian-Iraqi borders, lying on a highway connecting the Iraqi capital Baghdad to the Syrian capital Damascus. The crossing is now under control of the militants of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) who are both trained and armed by the US and Britain.
In past few days a lot of news reports talked about the massive US, Britain, and Jordan deployment of troops and military vehicles to the Jordanian-Syrian borders in a bid to expand their areas of influence in southeastern to northeastern Syria. Americans claim the border operations aims to prepare forces to fight the ISIS terrorist group. However, the experts rarely decline to maintain that the predominant aim behind amassment of forces is to cut the links of Syria to Iraq and thus establish a buffer zone between the two countries, a step that will cut all of access roads between the two capitals.
Well aware of real US plans in Syria, the Resistance forces in past few days showed that they seek foiling American's schemes by shifting their focus from western to eastern front lines. They, along with units from the Syrian army, have made considerable advances eastward in past week, with only a couple of kilometers separating them from the al-Tanf border path.
The analysts and the military leaders of pro-Assad camp expected to see such a reaction from the US with the aim of hindering the advancing forces from moving close to the border areas.
The analyses suggest that the Americans know it well that Damascus and its allies will not allow the assault to go unanswered, perhaps that is why soon after the airstrikes the US published a statement, trying to display the air raid as defensive and limited strike.
Disclosing the details of the attack, the US statement said: “the coalition struck Syrian pro-regime forces advancing in a de-confliction zone near Al-Tanf town posing a threat to the US partner forces.”
“This was despite the Russian attempts to dissuade the pro-regime movement towards Al-Tanf, coalition aircraft show of force, and warning shots,” the statement continued.
The statement at the end asserted that the US was committed to the “de-escalation zones” accord that was brokered by Russia, Turkey, and Iran in early May.
The US emphasis on respecting the ceasefire deal in four areas of Syria shows that Washington is worried about escalation of any conflict with pro-Damascus sides, and that it is familiar with the Resistance Axis's potentials, and is not interested to see the situation slipping out of the control. The attack killed the pro-Syrian Iraqi forces who are fighting the terrorists in Syria. The American officials know well that hitting the Iraqi forces in Syria will have dangerous consequences for the US forces in Syria.
The US is optimistic that the Thursday night airstrike will introduce new rules of game in the areas near the Syrian border with Iraq, a step seeking to draw red lines in the face of any efforts by the Syrian and Iraqi governments to control their border areas as part of their sovereignty.
The two countries' leaders strongly criticized the attack, asserting that they will not allow the US to cut the Syrian-Iraqi links by means of supporting the terrorist groups.
In the day the US hit the convoy, Faleh al-Fayadh, Iraq’s national security advisor, was in Syria to meet with the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. After the meeting, the two emphasized that they will ramp up cooperation to fight terrorism. They further said that they will keep coordinating their stances as they fight ISIS on the shared borders, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).