There are further developments in the uptick in the Syrian war. These are developments that will eventually result in a direct war between the US and Russia. Also, continuing to upscale US operations in Syria hurts the relationship with Russia that Trump is trying to rescue using the economic carrot, the release of Obama’s prior sanctions.
Trump is not a military person. He believes that money solves everything, even wars. So, he progresses on his path to destroy ISIS, Obama’s personally created Islamic army with which he hoped to conquer the world. Trump’s desire to destroy ISIS may be one of the factors driving Obama to continue meddling in White House affairs.
The uptick is that the United States has redeployed HIMARS rocket artillery from Jordan to Syria to a US special operations forces base near the Syrian town of Al-Tanf [18 kilometers from the Jordanian border]. Deployment of any foreign weaponry to Syria, especially multiple artillery rocket systems, has to be coordinated with the sovereign state’s government”, the Russian defense ministry’s statement read.
It noted that “the range of HIMARS cannot allow for providing support for US-controlled Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) operating against Daesh in Raqqa”.
“The US-led anti-Daesh coalition has several times already attacked Syrian government forces fighting Daesh near the Jordanian border. It is possible to assume that similar strikes could be continued in the future, involving HIMARS from now on. So what objective is the US pursuing in Syria and whom are the US servicemen fighting there?”, the statement asked.
The HIMARS will be stationed in the vicinity of the U.S.-Coalition training base at al-Tanf to support operations there. The long-range battlefield missile represents a large boost in long-range firepower in the 55 km deconfliction zone around the base.
“We have increased our combat power in that area,” U.S. Col. Ryan Dillon told reporters earlier this month at the Pentagon. “We have increased our presence and our footprint and prepared for any threat that is presented by the pro-regime forces,”
While troops at At Tarif are primarily there to support the fight against ISIS, tensions and conflict have been rising with pro-regime forces in the area. An F-15E Strike Eagle recently shot down an Iranian-made drone after it dropped a dud munition near coalition troops.
The HIMARS has been used to support Syrian Democratic Forces in its offensives against ISIS along with conventional artillery before, but from positions in northern Iraq. This move directly into Syria is a response and deterrent to pro-regime forces in and near the zone, who have been moving their own artillery into the area.
HIMARS is a wheeled Multiple Launch Rocket System that can fire up to six rockets at a time. Depending on the model, the rockets can carry submunitions for area suppression or a single unitary blast warhead. It can also use the Army Tactical Missile System, a long-range battlefield missile with a range of over 180 miles.
The Russian defence ministry has raised concerns about US multiple-rocket launchers being deployed at a base in eastern Syria. It said it was not impossible the two Himars launchers being set up in al-Tanf would be used against troops fighting so-called Islamic State.
Syrian- and Iranian-backed militiamen had reportedly been moving towards the base, located in a sparsely populated desert region.
Russia is the Syrian government’s main military ally and United States nemesis.
“It’s not impossible that similar attacks on Syrian forces will be continued in the future – this time, using Himars,” the Russian defence ministry said.
The Syrian government said this week it had regained territory in the al-Tanf area.