The U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition began war games Friday in eastern Syria in what it said are exercises aimed at honing "warfighting skills for counterterrorism operations".
The games were launched out of the at-Tanf garrison near the Iraqi border and included an aerial assault and about 100 U.S. troops who will conduct a live fire exercise before departing the airbase.
“Our forces will demonstrate the capability to deploy rapidly, assault a target with integrated air and ground forces and conduct a rapid exfiltration anywhere in the OIR [Operation Inherent Resolve] combined joint operations area,” Navy Capt. Bill Urban, spokesman for the U.S. Central Command, said in a statement.
"Exercises like this bolster our defeat-ISIS capabilities and ensure we are ready to respond to any threat to our forces.”
Urban was using another name for Daesh.
The U.S. is de-conflicting the exercises with Russia using established protocols, the command said.
Despite the stated "counterterrorism" aim of the exercises, CNN reported they are actually a direct response to Russian military threats.
Moscow reportedly sent a written note to the U.S. on Thursday warning that it would carry out "precision strikes" on militants around the at-Tanf area despite a roughly 55-kilometer (34-mile) deconfliction zone around the base.
"The United States does not seek to fight the Russians, the government of Syria or any groups that may be providing support to Syria in the Syrian civil war. However, the United States will not hesitate to use necessary and proportionate force to defend U.S., coalition or partner forces, as we have clearly demonstrated in past instances," CNN quoted Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Sean Robertson as saying.
It is unclear how long the exercises will last, but the outlet reported they could go on for days.Last Mod: 08 Eylül 2018, 12:11