October 21, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9604

Recent Attack On Al-Tanf Military Base Follows Years Of Threats Promising Violence To Expel U.S. Troops From Syria – As Reflected In MEMRI Reports

October 21, 2021
Syria | Special Dispatch No. 9604

Source:, October 21, 2021

On October 20, 2021, an attack was carried out against the U.S. military base in Al-Tanf, on the Syrian-Jordanian-Iraqi border, that marked an escalation in operations against the U.S. forces in Syria. A statement issued by the Pentagon said that it was "a deliberate and coordinated attack" using " both unmanned aircraft and indirect fire."[1] Several hours after the attack, the pro-Hizbullah Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar reported that the Allies of Syria Operations Room, part of the Iran-led resistance axis, was responsible for it. The report claimed further that the attack was part of a "general bid" by the resistance axis to shift the balance of deterrence vis-à-vis the U.S. in Syria. It added that, in discussions between them over the past weeks, the heads of the resistance axis in Syria, Iran and Beirut decided that axis forces in Syria would be reinforced.[2]

Over the years, and especially in the current year, there have been increasing hostilities by pro-Assad militias, both Syrian and foreign, against the U.S. troops in Syria and against the forces allied with them. Sporadic confrontations between Syrian villagers and U.S. patrols soon escalated into rocket and mortar fire, and later to drone attacks, on bases housing American troops.

MEMRI has posted many reports indicating the intention of the resistance axis to employ "popular resistance" against the U.S. forces in Syria, including in Al-Tanf, with the aim of expelling them from the country. These reports  presented rhetoric by the regime and its media, as well as by Iranian officials and Iran-backed militias, depicting the American presence as occupation and threatening military action against it.

A MEMRI report from August 2021 reviewed in detail the escalating hostilities in the recent months against the American troops in northeastern Syria, likely carried out by Iran-backed Shi'ite militias.  The report presented statements from Syrian pro-regime dailies that presented the attacks as a new phase in the popular resistance to drive out the U.S. presence and threatened to continue and increase this action. 

The following are MEMRI reports reviewing the escalating rhetoric and action of the resistance axis against the U.S. military presence in Syria.   


Special Dispatch No. 7179, Syrian Regime And Its Allies: We Will Expel U.S. From Syria, Even By Military Means; Al-Raqqa Is Occupied By U.S. Allies, November 14, 2017

Special Dispatch No. 7189, Article In Syrian Government Daily: Syrians Entitled To Oppose U.S. Presence In Their Country By Every Possible Means, November 20, 2017

Special Dispatch No. 7402 - Syrian Regime: We Will Expel U.S. Forces From Syria By Means Of Popular Resistance – March 28, 2018

Special Dispatch No. 7451 - Syrian Threats Against The U.S. Presence In Syria Continue: U.S. Troops, Bases Are In Our Sights And Will Pay A Heavy Price – May 2, 2019

Special Dispatch No. 8398 - Assad Regime Calls For Popular Resistance To Expel U.S. Forces From Syria – December 9, 2019

Inquiry and Analysis No. 1504 – Assad Regime Encourages Attacks On U.S. Forces In Northern Syria: They Can Choose To Leave On Their Own Feet, Or In Coffins, March 11, 2020

Special Dispatch No. 8803 – Syrian Media Threatens Escalation Of Resistance Against U.S. Forces In Country: America’s Policy "Will Not Cause People To Take To The Streets; It Will Cause The Missiles To Emerge From The Depots", June 17, 2020

Special Dispatch No. 8994, Syrian Regime Continues To Encourage Popular Tribal Resistance Against U.S.; Assad: This Is The Only Way To Force The Americans To Leave, October 28, 2020

Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1593 - Amid Escalation In Rocket Attacks On U.S. Forces In Syria, Pro-Regime Syrian Press Threatens: This Is A New Phase In Resistance; Every Rocket Will Be Met With A Rocket 'Until Occupiers Leave' – August 5, 2021


[1], October 20, 2021.

[2]  Al-Akhbar (Lebanon), October 21, 2021.

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