US Marines performed unprecedented eight-day military exercises with us-backed militants in southern Syria in an attempt to convey a “hostile message” to Iran and Russia, the US military official said.
Colonel Sean Ryan, a US military spokesman, described the exercise as a «demonstration of force,» saying that Pentagon had notified Russia to prevent misunderstanding or further escalation of the conflict.
«The exercises were conducted in order to strengthen the combat capabilities of the United States and ensure readiness to respond to any threat within our combat area» he said.
This week, eight-day exercises finished at the US military facility in At-Tanf, located 24 km West of the At-Tanf border crossing between Syria and Iraq in the province of Homs, said Colonel Muhanad al-Talaa, commander of the US-backed militant group «Magavir al-Taura». Similar illegal military facilities are also present in Saudi Arabia to combat the Houthis.
He told Reuters that these war «games» were the first such exercises with air and ground operations, involving hundreds of American troops and militants operating against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
The US presence at the At-Tanf military base is illegal and does not have the permission of the Syrian government. Damascus, Moscow and Tehran have repeatedly condemned the US military presence in Syria and called on the US to withdraw Marines from the base. However, the US has so far abandoned it, and even moved on to deploying more than 100 Marines to At-Tanf earlier this month.
As reported, the new forces joined the «special operations troops already based in the garrison», and intend to participate in the exercises against the backdrop of the escalation of US-Russian tension in Syria and the exercises of the Russian armed forces in the Mediterranean sea.
Russian and Iranian armed forces are in Syria at the official request of the Syrian government, while the United States illegally train militants operating against Damascus. The government of President Bashar al-Assad has repeatedly condemned the US military presence in the country and urged Washington to stop it.

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