US has carved out a de facto occupation zone for itself in southern Syria
This is the fourth time US forces have attacked Syrian government forces in Syria, the third time since Donald Trump became president, and the second time since the current stand off over US presence in southern Syria at al-Tanf developed.
The US claims the Syrians were within 55 kilometers of the US base at al-Tanf, Syria which made them a fair target. But the 55 kilometer exclusion zone is a unilateral American invention. It has no grounding in law or common sense.
What is worse—as the US air force was bombing the Syrian army—US-backed rebels were bragging about attacking Syrian forces sitting just outside the 55 kilometer perimeter with their artillery. For some reason the unilaterally-proclaimed "deconfliction zone" cuts only one way — the Syrian army may not drive past it, but the CIA-backed rebels may come as close to the government forces as they please.
Russia warned the first time the US struck at the Syrians in the al-Tanf region that such attacks were "absolutely unacceptable". Apparently its warning was not taken seriously.
To get all the background on the insane stand off at-Tanf read our previous pieces warning about what a mess in the making it was:
- US and Russia Could Be on a Collision Course in Southern Syria, May 12
- US Coalition Bombs Pro-Government Forces in Southern Syria, May 18
- US Warns Syrian Army Against Encroaching on Syrian Territory, May 29
- More Pieces Fall in Place for a Russian-US Clash in Southern Syria, June 2
- US Extends Its Occupation Zone in Southern Syria, June 5
Bottom line is that US has de facto now carved out a piece of Syria as its occupation zone where government forces will be kept from, but which US-paid "rebels" may use as staging points for attacks against the army.
UPDATE-- US bizarrely insists its air strikes against Syrian army in Syria constitutes a defensive action.
From its press release we also learn that the attacked Syrian force was 60 soldiers strong, and that US persists with its bald-faced lie about an "agreed-upon" no-go zone for Syrians.
The particularly comical is the call on "all parties in souther Syria to focus their efforts on the defeat of ISIS"—this would be in a day of; rebel artillery strikes and US air attacks on the Syrian government forces??
UPDATE 2-- There is now also video footage of the strikes:
UPDATE 3-- Al Masdar News is reporting the strike killed 2 Syrian soldiers and wounded another 15
UPDATE 4-- Aftermath of the strike: