AL-TANF, Syria (CBSNewYork/CBS News/AP) — An American airstrike hit pro-Syrian government forces in southern Syria Thursday, as they were setting up fighting positions in a protected area.
CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin reported the U.S. struck Syrian regime vehicles that violated a deconfliction zone set up around the al-Tanf an army base. Special forces are training Syrian militias at the base, Martin reported.
Martin reported the Syrian regime has violated the zone two times in the past few days.
In one incident, 27 regime vehicles drove within 18 miles of al-Tanf, which breached the 34-mile radius of the army convoy. U.S. aircraft attempted to buzz the regime, but when the convoy did not turn around, they conducted a strike against some of the vehicles.
In the second incident, an unarmed Syrian SU-22 fighter-bomber entered the deconfliction zone and was intercepted by a pair of F-22 fighter aircraft.
It remained unclear Thursday afternoon as to why the Syrians violated the zone. Martin reports that Syrian forces are pushing eastward towards the Euphrates River Valley, which hints to the idea that the regime may have been doing reconnaissance on their flank.
The base was attacked by ISIS in April. Last summer, Syrian fighters trained by the U.S. who operated out of al-Tanf were bombed by Russian jets.
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