Syria Daily: Regime Claims Coalition Airstrike on Its Forces; US Denies

The US base at Tanf in eastern Syria on the Iraq border (File)

UPDATE 1315 GMT: A pro-Assad blog, citing a regime “military source”, says at least 40 pro-Assad troops were killed by the alleged US airstrike near al-Bukamal.

The source said most of the casualties were regime forces, with Iraqi militia also slain.


The Assad regime is claiming an airstrike by US-led coalition warplanes on one of its military positions in eastern Syria, but US Central Command has denied the assertion.

Regime media said the strike in al-Harra, southeast of al-Bukamal on the Iraq border, caused casualties without giving details.

Unconfirmed claims said at least 38 pro-Assad militiamen were killed.

A “commander in the military alliance backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad” — probably a label for Lebanon’s Hezbollah — told Reuters that drones, “probably American”, had bombed positions of pro-Assad Iraqi militia between regime positions and the US base at Tanf.

Major Josh Jacques, a US Central Command spokesman, knocked back the claim, “No member of the US-led coalition carried out strikes near al-Bukamal.”

The coalition maintains a 55-km (34-mile) exclusion zone around Tanf. Hezbollah and Iranian-led militia tested the zone on two occasions last year, trying to move forces inside the area, but were bombed on both occasions.

US warplanes also accidentally hit pro-Assad troops fighting the Islamic State in September 2016, killing scores. In February 2018, they attacked a pro-Assad force which tried to take positions of the US-supported, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces near a gas complex in eastern Syria. About 200 Russian “private military contractors” and other pro-Assad militia were reportedly slain.

Russia has pursued a political and propaganda campaign to press for US withdrawal from Tanf, but — despite Donald Trump’s desire for the departure of American troops — has had no success so far.

Claimed location of the strike:

AL BUKAMAL STRIKE 18-06-18

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

36 COMMENTS

  1. US didn’t hesitate to admit that it hit Assad’s positions before. Either they struck it by accident this time but don’t care enough to admit to it, or they got smoked by someone else. Considering where it happened, I’d guess it’s the former, as the Iraq-Syria border is where you’d expect to find IS fighters sneaking about.

    • US officials saying it was an Israeli strike. Would be a first for Israel to hit that area. Most of the victims are Iranians.

      • Interesting. Now that leaves the question whether they did it to send a message or were they targeting something specific.

          • Recent statements from Netanyahu, such as this one, indicate escalation. I don’t think they’ll start targeting every Iranian and Iran-aligned militia in the country, so worth asking what exactly did they intend to achieve here. Some advanced equipment being transported, or an IRGC bigwig? I’d dismiss it if it occurred in the south, but the location leaves me wondering.

            • Well Bibi said it. They would start targeting iranians everywhere in Syria. Probably they had an important interest to bomb that area.

            • Israel working in Russias interests. Russia can’t afford to keep burning through equipment and supplies. The sooner they can get the whole thing wrapped up the better for them. Getting Iran out goes towards that goal. So Israel gets to keep sending messages about getting out of syria. Didnt Israel bomb somewhere in Daraa last week as well?

              • Israel lately is bombing Syria at its pleasure from north to south. Iranians are the target. West is clear. Iran must go out. Even the russians are worried of the iranian role in syria. Its knows it crashes with its “peace” plans and influence. Infact russian AA (well those dont work anyways lol) and intel never helped the iranians vs israeli/US bombing.


              • Israel working in Russias interests.

                Usual nonsense. If Russia were worried about burning through equipment and supplies they woudl have stayed out of Syria to begin with.

                Bottom line is Israel only cares about Israel’s interest. They don’t even care about US interests so why would they act for Russia?

                Didnt Israel bomb somewhere in Daraa last week as well?
                Russia want to see Daraa liberated so there goes your crack pot theory.

              • West is clear. Iran must go out.

                Who gives a crap what the West wants? The West have no business being there. As for the Russians, they are not at all worried of the iranian role in syria. The bottom line is that Russia’s presence in Syria is still modest and they don’t have the assets to protect Iranians in Syria, and no one is interested in escalation that forces direct confrontation between Russia and the West. Iran have never come to Russia’s aid so the Russians don’t owe anything to the Iranians.

                Israel can behave this way because they know the US will always clean up the mess if ever they find themselves in trouble. In any case, they were not going to deter the Iranians through these attacks.

              • Yeah, not a hard call for Russia. They fought for the survival of a client state, not the establishment of a Persian satrapy.

            • ecent statements from Netanyahu, such as this one, indicate escalation.

              Bibi wants to drag the US into a direct war with Iran, so these are attempts to bait Iran into over retaliation. Israel can’t defeat Iran in a war on their own so need the US to do it for them – or at least have the US bear the cost through blood and treasure.

              • ” Israel can’t defeat Iran in a war on their own so need the US to do it for them……” ahahahahah Comical Ali at its best. Israel needs 2 nukes (they have 100+) to level the whole country if they want. Iran vs Israel would be a bloodbath for the iranians. Like Syria is already showing.

              • Nukes aren’t a serious option and in any case, it would take a lot more than 2 to destroy Iran. You must be thinking of Israel, which is 1.2% the size of Iran.

                Neither Israel nor Iran had the ability to destroy one another. Israel couldn’t even defeat a few thousand Hezbollah fighters in 2006 even after running out fo bombs after 2 weeks

              • Comical Ali try to be serious for once. In a war were its survival is at stake, Israel has 100+ nukes, Iran has no fck chance in a life time. Hezbollah never threatened Israel survival in 2006 and you should be happy they dident level the whole of Beirut. They just sent your bs militia back 20 years in rockets capabilities and showed mercy.

              • In a war were its survival is at stake, Israel has 100+ nukes, Iran has no fck chance in a life time.
                Rubbish. Those who go to war usually do so because they have little fear of being threat to their survival. That’s why it is Israel that is itching to start war they hope the US will finish for them.
                Israel would be brought to it’s knees by a barrage of missiles that would overwhelm it’s denseness. Israel also lack the ability to sustain a war effort beyond 30 days.
                Hezbollah never threatened Israel survival in 2006 and you should be happy they didn’t level the whole of Beirut.
                They tried but like I said, they ran out of bombs after 2 weeks and when the death count of Israeli troops passed the 100 mark, the political leadership had to pull the plug. They even tried bombing Northern Lebanon hoping to piss the Christians off enough to turn on Hezbollah and all they achieved was to bring the Christians and Hezbollah together. The other factor was that Israeli intelligence assessed that Hezbollah would be able to sustain the war effort for another 3 months.
                Israel could not.
                They just sent your bs militia back 20 years in rockets capabilities and showed mercy.
                Why do you keep repeating that blatant BS Caligola? How is it possible to have sent Hezbollah back 20 years in rocket capabilities when:
                1. Israel’s own government says the opposite. The Winograd Commission Report stated that “The barrage of rockets aimed at Israel’s civilian population lasted throughout the war, and the IDF did not provide an effective response to it.” And “After a long period of using only standoff fire power and limited ground activities, Israel initiated a large scale ground offensive, very close to the Security Council resolution imposing a cease fire. This offensive did not result in military gains and was not completed. “
                2. Israel completely failed to even reduce the rate of rocket fire from Hezbollah throughout the 30 day war.
                3. Hezbollah today have more than 4 times the number of rockets they did pre 2006? Between May and November 2015, Hezbollah’s inventory wen from 100k to 150k
                https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-raises-hezbollah-rocket-estimate-to-150000/
                4. Hezbollah possesses rockets and missiles today that can reach any part of Israel. They did not have that capability in 2006

              • Better your world in which you say you never knew this board untill 2015 but you get exposed 2 secs later. Go and hide yourself. Laughing stock lier.

              • Better your world in which you say you never knew this board untill 2015 but you get exposed 2 secs later.

                Exposed how? Show me a post or comment I made before 2015.

                I’ll be over here laughing at you. 🙂

              • It’s amazing the stuff Scott let’s through moderation.

                Yes I did make a mistake. Now that memory serves, I found this forum in the wake of the 2013 chemical weapons attack. I have no problem admitting my mistake.

                On the other hand, you claimed I posted on this forum in 2011. Feel free to provide evidence.

        • Now that leaves the question whether they did it to send a message or were they targeting something specific.

          You can’t rule out Bibi’s domestic political aims and touch of the way the dog scenario. He’s still staring at possible charges of corruption and this aggression plays well at home politically.

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