Russia Reportedly Warns US It's Prepared To Attack Key Base In Syria Where US Troops Are Stationed

news

Russia has warned the U.S. that its military and allied Syrian forces are ready to attack a key U.S.-held base near the borders of Syria, Jordan, and Iraq, US defense officials said in a CNN report published on Thursday.


The Kremlin is said to have accused the U.S.-led coalition base At Tanf of protecting nearby militants, with Russia delivering two warnings in the past week, CNN said, citing U.S. officials. At Tanf, from which a coalition of dozens of U.S. troops and Syrian rebels launch operations against the Islamic State terrorist group, is seen as a critical location within the scope of Iranian, Syrian, and Russian influence in the region.

"We have absolutely advised them to stay out of At Tanf," a U.S. official told CNN. "We are postured to respond."

"The United States does not seek to fight the government of Syria or any groups that may be providing it support," another official added. "However, if attacked, the United States will not hesitate to use necessary and proportionate force to defend U.S., coalition, or partner forces."

U.S. troops would not need permission from superiors to defend themselves if attacked, which the U.S. reiterated to the Kremlin, CNN reported.

A state-sanctioned attack by Russia could spark a flashpoint conflict in the region. Tensions were raised in February after dozens of Russian mercenaries were killed during a failed assault on a U.S-held position near the city of Deir al-Zor.

Related: How That Massive Battle Between US Troops. And Russian Mercenaries In Syria Went Down »

Russian forces have not recently been seen amassing their troops; however, the U.S. military is still on alert, officials said. Senior military officials, including Defense Secretary James Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are aware of the warnings, CNN said.

Russia's warnings come amid a looming assault by Syrian and Iranian forces against the city of Idlib, where Syrian rebels have been cornered. Russia delivered an ominous warning last week that some experts saw as an indication that the Syrian government might indiscriminately use chemical weapons against the city.

The U.S. followed with a threat of its own, warning Syrian President Bashar Assad that if he "chooses to again use chemical weapons, the United States and its Allies will respond swiftly and appropriately."

"President Donald J. Trump has warned that such an attack would be a reckless escalation of an already tragic conflict and would risk the lives of hundreds of thousands of people," the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement.

Read more from Business Insider:

WATCH NEXT:

The Veterans of Foreign Wars has demanded an apology from President Trump over recent comments in which he downplayed the seriousness of traumatic brain injuries suffered by American troops in an Iranian missile attack.

"The Veterans of Foreign Wars cannot stand idle on this matter," William "Doc" Schmitz, VFW National Commander, said in a statement Friday, noting TBI is a serious injury known to cause depression, memory loss, severe headaches and other symptoms in the short and long-term.

Read More
The submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) sits anchored at Ulithi Atoll, Dec. 7, 2019 (Navy photo/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Richard A. Miller)

The Navy is investigating dozens of videos of service members changing in a bathroom which were then shared on the website PornHub, according to a NBC News report.

According to the report, an agent from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service found the videos on PornHub earlier this month. The videos, which have since been taken down, show civilians, sailors and Marines, some of whom have visible name tapes.

Read More
U.S. Army/Jaerett Engeseth

We already knew that Army Rangers were a unique breed of badass, but performing real-time blood transfusions while under enemy fire on the battlefield takes it to an entirely new level.

Read More
(@realspaceforce/Twitter)

An upcoming comedy show is boldly mocking what everyone else is, well, already mocking: The Space Force.

Read More