A military outpost in southern Syria was hit by a coordinated attack on Wednesday, but a US official said no American troops stationed there were injured or killed.
The official said the attack appeared to include at least one drone strike and possibly groundfire at the base in Al-Tanf, Syria, which houses some of the 900 US soldiers in Syria.
‘Explosions resounded from the Al Tanf base used by the US-led coalition’ fighting Daesh group, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement.
It was not yet clear who carried out the attack.
Military sources told the BBC that the attack appeared to be ‘coming from the Iraq-Syria border.’
The US base in Al-Tanf, Syria, was hit by a coordinated attack on Wednesday
The base serves as a training location for US soldiers to prep local opposition fighters
The base was attacked by at least one drone strike and possible gunfire. No US troops at the base were reportedly injured in the attack
US and coalition troops are based at the Al-Tanf garrison to train local Syrian opposition forces on patrols to counter Islamic State militants.
The base is also located on a road serving as a vital link for Iranian-backed forces from Tehran to all the way to southern Lebanon and Israel.
The official said there was no information on whether local forces were injured or killed in the attack.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss military operations.
The attack on the American base comes hours after the bombing of an army bus in Damascus and a shelling shortly after of a rebel-held town in northwest Syria that killed at least 27 people in total on Wednesday.
At least 14 people were killed and another three wounded after two bombs destroyed a military bus in central Damascus on Wednesday morning
Around an hour after the bus attack, a Syrian army shelling struck the rebel-held town of Ariha in Idlib province, killing 13 people, including four children. Pictured: Syrian White Helmet civil defence workers carry a casualty in the town of Ariha
Pictured: A White Helmets member carries a child victim after the shelling struck roads near schools, and four children were counted among the dead
Two bombs planted on an military bus in central Damascus were detonated early in the morning, killing 14 people, in the worst such attack in Syria’s capital in four years.
A third bomb was subsequently found nearby and defused by military engineers before it could explode, Syria’s state news agency said
There was no immediate claim for the bombing and it was not immediately clear if all the dead were bus passengers.
Around an hour after the bus attack, a Syrian army shelling struck the rebel-held town of Ariha in Idlib province, parts of which are controlled by groups that have claimed such attacks in the past.
Assad’s forces killed 13 people in the shelling with four children among the dead, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Britain-based war monitor said rockets hit a busy market area and roads near schools as students were heading to classes
The Syrian Civil Defense, also known as White Helmets said 20 more were wounded when dozens of shells landed in the town. Rescuers said they were still searching through the wreckage for survivors.
The attack is the deadliest in Damascus since a bombing claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group, ISIS, targeted the Justice Palace in March 2017, killing at least 30 people.
Damascus had been largely spared such violence in recent years, especially since troops and allied militias retook the last significant rebel bastion near the capital in 2018.
Syrian government forces rushed to the scene where the third bomb was defused and the bus debris cleared from the roadside (pictured)
Government troops clear away the remains of the destroyed bus, as the hunt begins for the attackers. Several terror groups still operate in Syria, including ISIS
The military initially said the bombs were planted on the highway, but later said it believed they were attached to the bus itself
The shelling in Ariha was the highest civilian toll since a March 2020 truce deal brokered by Turkey and Russia effectively put fighting in Idlib on standby, the Observatory said.
The truce has been repeatedly violated, and government forces often vow to take territories still out of their control.
‘At 8 am (0500 GMT) we woke up to the bombardment. The children were terrified and were screaming,’ said Bilal Trissi, a father of two who lives nearby.
‘They bombed us in our neighbourhood and in the market. There are children who died and people who lost their limbs… We don’t know why, what are we guilty of?’
The UN children’s agency condemned the shelling, calling it a ‘reminder that the war in Syria has not come to an end’.
The Damascus bombing too will challenge the government’s assertion that the decade-old war is over and stability guaranteed for reconstruction efforts and investment projects to begin in earnest.
Syria’s conflict that began in March 2011, with the brutal repression of unarmed protests demanding regime change, has left more than 350,000 people dead and displaced half the country’s population, including five million who are refugees abroad.