After two consecutive days of incidents in southern Syria’s Daraa Province, the first seeing US forces attacking Shi’ite militias and the second seeing US warplanes shooting down a Syrian drone, the Pentagon has issued a statement today praising Russia for being “very helpful” in calming the rising tensions in the area.
Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said Russia had communicated “US concerns” to the Syrian forces, and that there had been multiple conversations over the past couple days, which have resulted in the situation around the Daraa safe zone returning to relative calm.
The US accused pro-Syrian forces of violating the safe zone each of the last two days, though the drone appears to itself have been firing on US ground troops who were also inside the safe zone, which they weren’t supposed to enter. The US has not formally endorsed the safe zone program yet, but is clearly willing to use it as a pretext for attacks on other factions.
US forces are supporting a rebel faction that holds a base at al-Tanf, and they’ve said the forces they attacked were “too close” to that base, threatening US personnel. The Syrian government has pointed out that the US forces weren’t invited into Syria in the first place, and said they aren’t justified in attacking pro-government factions just because they’re close to an area where US troops aren’t welcome.
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