Published on Jun 7, 2017
The US-led coalition has carried out air strikes on Syrian pro-government forces near the town of Al-Tanf, close to the border with Iraq. The Pentagon says the troops it struck were operating inside a so-called ‘de-confliction zone’. It is an area of particular strategic significance, and all of the parties to the conflict have been operating there. It lies on the most direct route from Damascus to Baghdad, in Iraq. If Assad’s forces take it, they will also secure a direct route to Iran – their closest ally in the region. Caleb Maupin now explains what may have motivated Washington to carry out the attack.