Russia warns US of pending attack in Syrian area with US troops

Russia warns US of pending attack in Syrian area with US troops

Russia warns US of pending attack in Syrian area with US troops

The base is located near Syria's border with Iraq and Jordan and is seen as a key strategic post to curb Iran's regional influence.

Outlining an unusual series of events that led up to the exercise, Brown said that Russia, using a communication line dedicated to avoiding accidental conflict between U.S. and Russian forces operating in Syria, had notified U.S. Lt. Gen. Paul Funk II, the commander of coalition forces in Iraq and Syria, that "they meant to enter the At Tanf deconfliction zone to pursue terrorists".

US-led coalition forces are conducting live-fire exercises in the At Tanf deconfliction zone, US Central Command (CENTCOM) revealed Friday.

Military officials say the war drills will demonstrate America's ability to simultaneously strike targets from the air and ground.

"However, if attacked, the United States will not hesitate to use necessary and proportionate force to defend USA, coalition or partner forces".

"We have zero intelligence that shows the opposition has any chemical capability", Mattis told reporters traveling with him to the Indian capital of New Delhi for a high-level dialogue on Thursday between the south Asian nation and the United States. Both have said they have a hotline to avoid direct conflict.

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Russian Federation has reportedly warned the U.S. that its military and allied Syrian forces were ready to attack a key US-held base in Syria, according to a CNN report. And it has sparked United States warnings to Moscow not to challenge the USA military presence.

Russian warplanes have been carrying out intense airstrikes in Syria's northwest, pounding rebel-held areas in Idlib province and surrounding regions that have become the last sanctuary for the opposition.

That was followed by a letter sent Thursday to Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, the commander of USA forces in Syria, warning that Russian Federation planned to carry out "precision strikes" near Tanf against Islamic State fighters, a warning that prompted Funk to speed up plans to dispatch additional troops to the base.

Russian complaints about the presence of potential Al Qaeda or ISIS fighters in the buffer zone are not new, the United States officials point out.

USA officials, however, are stopping short of discussing what military weapons and measures are in place for the protection of USA troops.

"Coalition partners are in the At Tanf deconfliction zone for the fight to destroy ISIS", Brown said. "We expect the Russians to abide by this agreement".

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Turkey, which has largely backed opposition forces, sought the cease-fire.

"We consider any assault on Idlib to be a risky escalation of the conflict in Syria", said USA ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley Friday in NY.

US President Donald Trump has warned Syria's President Assad and his allies Iran and Russian Federation not to launch a "reckless attack" to the Idlib province, as it would result in hundreds of thousands of people killed. US officials have warned that the use of chemical weapons by Assad's forces against the enclave would result in USA reprisals.

The ministry said it had targeted buildings used to store weapons and explosives including a facility used to assemble explosive-packed drones that rebels have used to attack Russian planes stationed at Hmeymim air base.

The exercise, involving a company-size unit, came amid rising U.S. -Russia tensions across the Syrian battlespace.

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