May 29, 2018
Previous reports that the United States is protecting and harboring ISIS near its positions in al-Tanf have been given even more credence with the recent statements of the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov.
“We have plenty of reports about strange things happening in the Al-Tanf area,” Sergei Lavrov said on Monday. “This area has no particular military value in terms of fighting terrorism. And in practical terms, we see a rise of presence in the region of militant groups, including those we believe to be connected with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in this or that way, including in the Rukban refugee camp.”
“This zone was created under manufactured justification with no military necessity,” he said. “If [the Americans] are arriving at the same conclusions, I expect this to translate into a practical implementation.”
Lavrov pointed out that, while he saw no indications that the U.S. was preparing to withdraw from Tanf, he would welcome their doing so.
Back on March 3, the Russian Defense Minister, Alexander Fomin, said that the United States was using its Special Forces operatives based in al-Tanf near the Iraqi border to create a “reserve for terrorists.”
As al-Masdar News writes,
Despite repeated promises to fully withdraw from their garrison at Al-Tanf, US special forces remain embedded throughout a 55 kilometer by 55 kilometer area throughout the region with recent reports suggesting that an additional six hundred American operatives are to be moved there.
Syrian pro-government forces who attempt to enter the US security perimeter near Al-Tanf are subject to airstrikes by coalition warplanes.