Donald Trump stormed into the White House in January and immediately set to work. He set the tone for his administration by launching a missile strike on Syrian forces believed to be behind chemical weapons attacks. And now the US military is once again attacking Syrian forces. This time, it was an airstrike on a convoy of the Syrian Army’s vehicles.
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CNN is reporting that the strike took place near a base used by American forces to train our Syrian allies. The vehicles, 20 in all, were driving toward An Tanf, a town near the Iraqi border on Wednesday night.
There’s a perimeter established around this base that the Americans protect. 13 of the vehicles in the convoy entered that area. That drew the attention of American forces. When five of those vehicles continued to approach the base, they were met by two planes in what’s being called a “show of force.”
The vehicles didn’t stop, though, and the pilots were given permission to engage the targets. CNN cites a defense department official that acknowledged that the planes “did hit the convoy after the vehicles continued toward the base.”
“The coalition commander assessed the threat and after shows of force didn’t stop the regime forces and those forces refused to move out of the deconfliction zone, the commander on the ground called for the air strike as a matter of force protection,” a U.S. defense official reported to Fox News.
Reports from Syria claim he vehicles were driven by militia forces, and not Syrian army troops, though that hasn’t been independently verified.
The Associated Press are reporting that at least two of the vehicles were heavily armored. One was a tank, the other a bulldozer.
“a tank and a bulldozer,” which pro-regime militia were apparently using to set up fighting positions inside the protected area.
It is unclear just what the objective was in the encroachment.
American troops in Syria have been in direct conflict with Assad’s troops and the various militias supporting him since the U.S. Navy launched 57 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian Air Force base.