The Russians appear to have backed off their earlier threats after the U.S. Marine Corps sent them a clear message.
The Pentagon, U.S. Central Command, and Operation Inherent Resolve have all confirmed that Russia has stayed out of the deconfliction zone, and is no longer insisting on conducting operations or launching precision strikes in the area near the At Tanf garrison, where U.S. Marines are based.
- Russia warned the U.S. twice on Sept. 1 and again on Sept. 6 that the Russian military, together with Syrian and pro-regime forces, planned to carry out counterterrorism operations inside the 55-kilometer deconfliction zone. It accused the US and its coalition partners of harboring terrorists.
- Immediately following Russia's threats, the U.S. Marine Corps conducted a live-fire demonstration at the At Tanf garrison to drive home the point that the U.S. military does not need Russia's help eliminating terrorists.
- “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,” US Central Command spokesman Lt. Col. Earl Brown previously told Business Insider, adding, “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.”
- “The U.S. does not require any assistance in our efforts to destroy ISIS in the At Tanf deconfliction zone and we advised the Russians to remain clear,” he explained.
- In the nearly two weeks since, the Russians have not contacted the U.S. military about operations inside the deconfliction zone, an area that the Syrians and the Russians want access to in order to build a strategic land bridge between Tehran and Damascus.