The US Army troops, including a hundred marines that have just arrived in the region, have started training terrorists in the US-run al-Tanf base in Southern Homs, an Arab media outlet reported on Tuesday.
The Arabic-language Qatar 21 news website quoted commander of Maqawir al-Thowrah terrorist group, affiliated to the Free Syrian Army (FSA), as disclosing that the US marines have launched training his forces in al-Tanf base at border with Iraq.
The website further said that a large volume of the US’s military equipment has also arrived in al-Tanf base
News sources had announced last week that over a hundred US marines were dispatched to Syria to implement a drill using real ammo.
On Sunday, over 100 US Marines were sent as reinforcements to the military base in al-Tanf in Syria after Russia allegedly revealed intentions of launching precision strikes on an area under the US-led coalition’s control.
While the official statement by the Pentagon did not mention that the reinforcements had been sent as a precautionary measure to the alleged threats, chief Central Command spokesman, Captain William Urban, said that the troops flown to the area would conduct multiday drills using live ammunition, Task & Purpose reported.
“Our forces will demonstrate the capability to deploy rapidly, assault a target with integrated air and ground forces and conduct rapid exfiltration,” Task & Purpose cited him as saying.
According to the report, US officials tackling the Syria issue have recently claimed that “the administration is now resolved to stay in Syria longer than President Donald Trump previously indicated”, purportedly referring to POTUS’s March speech, when he suggested that the United States would leave the war-torn country “very soon”.
The news came on the heels of a CNN report about Moscow’ s alleged warnings of an impending attack on militants in the area protected by US troops.
The media outlet’s report also claimed that US Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford were aware of the latest intelligence, adding that US troops in Syria “have the right of self-defense if they are attacked and would not need to ask permission from higher levels of the government before acting”.
“The United States does not seek to fight the Russians, the government of Syria or any groups that may be providing support to Syria in the Syrian war. However, the United States will not hesitate to use necessary and proportionate force to defend US, coalition or partner forces,” CNN quoted an anonymous insider.
The Russian Ministry of Defense hasn’t commented on the claims so far.
Slightly over a week ago, Syrian government forces captured two militants near Palmyra, claiming that they were members of the Lions of the East group, the Russian Defense Ministry announced. They also confessed that they had been trained and armed by American instructors in a camp near the al-Tanf military base.