US-trained rebel force quits American Al-Tanf base in E. Syria
The Revolutionary Commando Army has suddenly defected from the US Al-Tanf base near the Syria-Jordan border after striking a deal with the Assad regime. DEBKAfile reports. The last local rebel force serving the American base, it was believed to be heading north across the desert from its post on the Jordanian border to join up with government forces in the Deir ez-Zour region. US officials have not confirmed or commented on this development.
The Al Tanf garrison is wedged strategically in the intersection of Syrian, Jordanian and Iraqi borders and in position to block Iranian military ingress through Iraq from the south. The small US garrison at Al Tanf has for years held out against Syrian and pro-Iranian militia attacks, countering encroachments on its 55-km security belt with air and rocket artillery strikes. The Revolutionary Commando Army (Maghawweri Thowra) and other US-backed militias were also targeted. Tanf remained in place – even during partial troop drawdowns in other parts of Syria.
On Saturday, Deir officials in Deir Ez-Zour reported a violent outbreak of coronavirus due to the influx of Iranian and Iraqi Shiite militia forces across the border into Syria.