Just days after President Donald J. Trump authorized a military strike in Syria after the country’s dictator, Bashar al-Assad, used chemical weapons on his own people, the fight for the destabilized nation continues.
On Sunday night, a coalition of U.S.-led troops in southern Syria fended off an ISIS attack on a joint base on the border of Syria and Jordan.
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The US-led coalition said ISIS initiated a complex attack on Saturday at the At Tanf Garrison on the Syrian-Jordanian border using a vehicle-borne IED, and 20-30 fighters followed with a ground assault and suicide vests.
“Coalition and partnered forces engaged and defended the ISIS attack with direct fire before destroying enemy assault vehicles and the remaining fighters with multiple coalition airstrikes,” the coalition said in a news release.
It is not known how long the battle lasted. Initial reports indicate the assault did not result in any coalition casualties, a coalition official told CNN. Some American forces were at the base at the time of the assault, the official said.
Up until now, the United States has been unwilling to admit that it had a permanent presence in Syria, but the ISIS attack on a joint-coalition base puts any of those doubts to rest. This recent attack by ISIS underscores the precarious situation in Syria, as the United States is essentially battling two groups, ISIS and the Assad regime, at the same time.
Following Assad’s latest attack on his people, United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley stressed that the United States does not “look at peace happening in that area with Iranian influence. In no way do we see peace in that area with Russia covering up for Assad. In no way do we see peace in that area with Assad as the head of the Syrian government.”
Thankfully, coalition forces were successfully able to thwart the ISIS attack without any casualties, but it should be expected that the terrorist group will continue to try and inflict harm on Americans and Syrians.