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Syrian government forces besiege US base in al-Tanf

This video grab shows a Syrian soldier patrolling an area in the Badiya region after it was liberated during an offensive, June 20, 2018. (Photo via SANA)

Syrian government forces have reportedly encircled a US military base at the al-Tanf border crossing with Jordan, after recapturing large parts of the Badiya region from Daesh.

As part of an anti-terror operation that was launched from the Hamimeh region in southern Aleppo and the second and third oil pumping stations in Badiya a few days ago, Syrian forces and allied popular fighters liberated an area that ran 45 kilometers wide and 60 kilometers deep towards the border with Iraq. The area includes the city of Abu Kamal and US base of al-Tanf, sources on the field reported Friday.

The US is believed to be regularly training terrorists at the base.

Washington described the area, which lies at the ultra-strategic intersection of the Syrian, Iraqi, and Jordanian borders, as its “red line.”

The US has unilaterally declared a 55-kilometer red zone around the base, and threatened to target Syrian forces within the area.

The cordoned off area also contains the Rukban refugee camp, which according to Syrian and Russian officials is home to terrorists, including those of al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.

Tensions have been running high between American and Syrian forces in the region following several US airstrikes on positions of pro-government forces.

The National Defense Forces, a popular militia supporting the Syrian government, announced Friday that US-led warplanes had bombed the Syrian army’s outpost in the village of al-Halba, 70 kilometers away from the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur) in Homs province.

“The combat planes belonging to the coalition led by the United States, attacked the army position in Jabal Ghurab, some 150 kilometers east of Palmyra near the border with Iraq,” a Syrian Arab Army commander told Russia's Sputnik.

“One serviceman was killed and several others wounded,” the unnamed official added.

According to the field commander, the attack was allegedly carried out when the army responded to US-led coalition’s attack on Syrian troops.

The Pentagon, however, denied the casualties and said that a US-backed anti-government militant group stationed in the al-Tanf base had engaged an “unidentified hostile force” outside a “deconfliction zone” around the base, forcing it to retreat.

The recent anti-terror operations in Homs, Dayr al-Zawr and the suburbs of the capital Damascus have seen over 4,500 square kilometers of the Syrian Desert being freed from the clutches of Daesh and other Takfiri terrorist groups.

The Syrian forces had earlier surrounded Daesh in Badiya region and forced the terrorists to retreat. The terror group has lost much of the areas it previously controlled in Syria and is now holding pockets of land in some desert regions.

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