Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Is A US-Iranian Confrontation About To Explode In Syria?

Nicholas Blanford, CSM: At remote desert garrison in Syria, a US-Iranian confrontation is brewing

The Tanf garrison used by the US coalition to train militias to fight ISIS sits on a highway Iran would like to control for its strategic advantage. Forces are gathering and shots have been fired as fundamental interests clash.

US-backed forces announced Tuesday that they had begun the long-awaited assault on the northeastern Syrian city of Raqqa, the so-called Islamic State's main stronghold in the country and its self-declared capital.

But some 170 miles to the south, in a remote corner of Syria’s southeastern desert, another clash is brewing that is pitting the strategic objectives of the United States against those of Iran, and that could soon bring US troops and Iranian-backed forces into direct military confrontation.

Both US and Russian warplanes have been deployed, and some shots have already been fired, including by US-backed coalition forces on Tuesday, the US military said.

The clash is over a military garrison at Tanf, located near a border crossing on a highway that cuts through hundreds of miles of flat desert. It was captured from jihadist forces more than a year ago and is being used by US Special Forces and allies to train Syrian militias to fight ISIS, which controls territory to the northeast.

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WNU Editor: When I read that Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani was recently at the border of Syria-Iraq .... Qassem Soleimani spotted near the Syrian border with Iraqi militias (Long War Journal) .... it was an indication to me that for Iran this was going to be the next big battle. The fact that U.S. backed coalition forces are also here (and in control of a good part of this region) creates the recipe for what everyone expects will erupt into a major U.S. - Iran proxy clash. My prediction .... after Mosul has fallen, the Iranians are going to focus on Syria .... and I do expect a push by Iran and Syria to reclaim this part of Syria.

More News On Growing Concerns Of A U.S. - Iran Proxy Clash In Syria

Tehran, Washington set for proxy clash on Syrian-Iraqi border -- Mustafa Saadoun, Al-Monitor
A showdown is looming between the US, Syria and Iran at Tanf -- Shawn Snow and Mackenzie Wolf, Military Times
ANALYSIS: Prelude to a showdown between the US and Iran? -- Al Arabiya
US and Iran edge closer to confrontation in Syria -- Joyce Karam, Arab News
A showdown could be looming between the US, Iran, and the Assad regime at the Syria-Iraq border -- Christopher Woody, Business Insider
Iran tests the US in southeastern Syria -- Long War Journal
Are the US, Iran on a collision course in Syria? -- Dan De Luce and Paul McLeary, Foreign Policy

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