Iran Struck At-Tanf Base in Retaliation for Israeli Airstrikes in Syria, NYT Report Claims
03:22 GMT 19.11.2021 (Updated: 03:31 GMT 19.11.2021)
© AP Photo / Lolita BaldorThe al-Tanf military outpost in southern Syria where U.S. Gen. Joseph Votel, top U.S. commander in the Middle East, made an unannounced visit Monday, Oct. 22, 2018
© AP Photo / Lolita Baldor
The At-Tanf base hosting US troops is located in Syria's Homs province on the Syrian-Jordanian border. In late October, the garrison reportedly came under a drone attack, but no group claimed responsibility. Washington confirmed the strike, saying it reserves the right to retaliate.
The October 20 drone attack on At-Tanf military base was conducted by Iranian proxies in retaliation for Israeli bombings of Syria, anonymous US and Israeli officials told The New York Times.
The attack, which Washington called "deliberate and coordinated," resulted in no injuries. According to a senior US military official, five "suicide" drones were launched at the military compound, only two of them exploded, but they were reportedly "loaded with ball bearings and shrapnel with a clear intent to kill."
Officials claimed they believe Iran had abetted proxy forces in carrying out the attack, adding that it was revenge for the recent Israeli strikes in the Arab Republic, including the killing of Medhat al-Saleh, who served in the government's Golan Heights portfolio, and IDF bombings in the province of Homs.
22 October 2021, 18:39 GMT
Damascus has repeatedly condemned both the American military presence in Syria as illegal and Israeli strikes as violations of its sovereignty, calling on the international community to hold the Jewish State accountable.
Tel-Aviv tends to avoid commenting on the attacks, but last year, IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi did confirm Israel has conducted hundreds of airstrikes in the Arab Republic targeting what he called "Iran's entrenchment" in the region.
Regarding the At-Tanf military base, Syrian state media previously called it "a sanctuary for the terrorists in the region," where they are supplied with weapons. SANA reported that American forces were regularly spotted transporting military equipment, oil, wheat and even terrorists to its bases in Syria and Iraq. The US forces in Syria are stationed in the most oil-and gas-rich provinces of the Arab Republic, and Damascus has repeatedly pointed out that the sole reason behind the US presence in the country is to plunder Syrian resources.
26 October 2021, 00:55 GMT
Russia said earlier this week that it opposes the bombings of Syria by Israel, but a military response would be counterproductive. "We strongly oppose these inhuman actions and call for contacts at all levels with the Israeli side on the need to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity of Syria and stop these bombings," the Russian president's special envoy for Syria said.
Given regular reports of attacks coming from the outside, it seems that Syria, which has been engulfed in civil war since 2011, has become an arena for a long-term Iran-Israel confrontation.