US Marines sent to Spec. Ops. base in Syria to defend against Russian attack

5th Special Forces Group (A) Operation Detachment Bravo at base camp Al Tanf Garrison in southern Syria. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Jacob Connor)

The US military is reported to have ramped up personnel at a remote Syrian operations base after Russia informed Washington about pending attacks against militants in the region.

Around 100 US Marines were scrambled aboard helicopters and flown to the Tanf-area base, which sits along Syria’s Iraq/Jordan border.

The base is controlled by Syrian fighters who are currently fighting against the Islamic State, but it is also home to the US Special Forces soldiers who train the Syrians how to be better fighters.

With clear lines of communication and an uneasy peace between the two nations, Russia communicated its plans to the US several days prior to their planned operations in the area, transmitting the message on September 1.

The Russians, however, were coming too close for comfort and were promptly warned not to attack within a 35-mile security zone that the US maintains around Tanf.

“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,” said Lt. Col. Earl Brown, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command. “However, the United States will not hesitate to use necessary and proportionate force to defend U.S., coalition or partner forces.”

According to the LA Times, the Marines sent to Tanf arrived with orders to conduct a multi-day exercise with live ammunition.

The Russians are expected to adhere to the agreement and respect the parameters set by the US, but have been known to “unwittingly overstep”. In February, The United States military anhillated a Russian mercenary unit that attempted to assault a US base in Eastern Syria, though Russian government officials denied any role in the attempted siege.

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