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memri
June 26, 2018 No.
7538

Syrian Establishment Daily: The Stage Of Direct Confrontation With The American Forces In Syria Has Begun

Military tensions are rising between the Syrian regime and the U.S., as evidenced by incidents in the field and reciprocal exchanges of accusations.

On June 20, 2018, it was reported that the Syrian army had managed to deploy its forces around the U.S. Al-Tanf military base adjacent to the Syria-Iraq-Jordan border, and that in effect the outpost is currently under siege.[1] The following day, there were reports of the first live-fire incident on the ground between the forces of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and American forces in Syria. According to these reports, a battalion of one of the Syrian regime militias opened fire on a patrol being carried out by troops from the U.S.-led Global Coalition against Terrorism, in the area of the Al-Tanf base; in response, a Global Coalition airplane attacked a regime base in the eastern rural area near Homs, killing several Syrian soldiers.[2]

On June 18, 2018, two days prior to the siege on the Al-Tanf base, the Assad regime accused the Global Coalition of having attacked a military base in the village of Al-Hari, to the southeast of Al-Bukamal and adjacent to the border with Iraq,[3] where, according to reports, several dozen soldiers of the Syrian forces and the Iraqi militias fighting alongside the regime were killed.[4]

The tension between the sides was heightened by the deployment in recent weeks of forces of the Syrian regime and its allies, prior to the launch of a campaign in southern Syria – an area included in the de-escalation agreement signed by the U.S., Russia and Jordan in November 2017. This action was met with threats by the U.S. that it will take aggressive measures if the agreement is violated. Despite these threats from the U.S., there have been reports in recent days that the Syrian regime, supported by the Russian forces, has begun to carry out attacks in southern Syria.

Against the backdrop of these events, the Syrian establishment daily Al-Thawra published an article titled "The American Terror Base Is In the Syrian Arab Army's Line of Fire – From South to East, the Victories Come One After Another, And the Zionist-American Gambles Are Turning Out Badly." The article accuses the U.S. and Israel of extending the duration of the Syrian crisis by supporting opposition factions in southern Syria, and stresses that the Syrian army is currently poised for battle – not only against terrorists, but also against Israel. It also includes threats against the American forces in Syria, and asserts that the stage of direct military confrontation between the U.S. and the Syrian regime has begun – especially in light of the Syrian regime's siege on Al-Tanf base – and that the American presence in eastern Syria is now in danger.


American forces in Syria (Image: freesyriac.tv, May 30, 2018)

The following are translated excerpts from the article:

"Dera, which suffered the catastrophe of terror, is getting ready to join the other southern regions that have shaken off the dust of terror. [But] in Dera there is a reality that cannot be contested and is supported by decisive evidence, namely that the U.S. and Israel want to keep Dera far away from any [possibility of] a settlement [between Assad and the rebel factions] and to prevent any settlement [regarding it]. This is because the return of the Syrian regime [to Dera] based on a settlement would mean that the American-Zionist-Gulf dream of the last eight years would go right down the drain, irreversibly – for the liberation of Dera would mean the immediate liberation of Idlib as well.

"Therefore, the goal of Israel and the U.S. in the campaign for Dera is to prolong [the fighting] as much as possible, so as to breathe new life into the defeated terrorists of Idlib. Syria and its allies understand this reality, as is evident in the strength of their resolve to regain all of Dera and snatch it from the jaws of terror – for Dera is about to meet a new fate. According to observers, Israel is the one most troubled by the liberation of Dera, because the Syrian army is not [only] preparing for war with the terrorists, but is also preparing for the possibility of war with their main sponsor – Israel – if that proves to be necessary...

"In a transparent attempt to defend the terrorists, the U.S. demanded... that Russia mediate with the Syrian regime [and convince it to] stop the campaign in the south. The evil American-Zionists hands were not satisfied with the south of Syria, but reached for all of Syria's territory, including the east, in particular the Al-Bukamal area. This, especially after Israel's evil goals were exposed following its open [act of] aggression in the vicinity of the village of Al-Hari east of Al-Bukamal [the reference is to the June 18, 2018 attack on the base of Assad supporters]...  Ever since the rules of the war changed because of the high-quality victories of the Arab Syrian army, the Americans and their mercenaries and supporters have found themselves in a very dire situation, and the warning bell has been heard in every part of Syria where the occupying American forces are present. 

 "Following the American strike on a Syrian military position in the eastern rural area of Homs [and the June 21 exchange of fire], which came after a unit of the Arab Syrian army confronted three American vehicles that had approached a [Syrian] army position near the village of Halbeh, southeast of Palmyra, it became clear that the stage of direct military confrontation between the Syrian army – the [rightful] owner of the land – and the American occupier had begun, and that further developments could be expected in the coming days. This, especially since the Syrian army besieged the U.S. base in the Al-Tanf area near the Syria-Iraq border, after completing its takeover of the border region stretching from Al-Bukamal to Al-Tanf.

"It cannot in any way be denied that the presence of the Arab Syrian army and its complete siege on this border region have begun to keep the Americans and their allies awake at night, for this is another big defeat for them. Now that the entire area in southeast Syria where the American occupier is present, and especially Al-Tanf and its vicinity, are completely isolated and surrounded, the Arab Syrian army and its allies are expected to increase the pace of their operations in all of eastern Syria, until they cut off the access routes of the American imperialist projects in south and southeastern Syria...

"Therefore, I believe that the Americans are now expecting a military move on the part of the Arab Syrian army in the depth of eastern and southeastern Syria, for the [Syrian] operations in this campaign have begun to directly threaten and harm the American projects and the American presence in all parts of eastern Syria...

"The Syrian regime is now totally convinced that a confrontation with the U.S. is inevitable... and unavoidable."

 

[1] Al-Ba'ath (Syria), June 20, 2018.

[2] Arabic.sputniknews.com, June 21, 2018; Orient-news.net, June 21, 2018; Raialyoum.com, June 21, 2018.

[3] Sana.sy, June 18, 2018.

[4] Syriahr.com, June 18, 2018.