A spokesperson for the US-led Coalition confirmed to Grasswire on Monday, May 29, that a recent leaflet drop warned “armed and hostile” pro-regime forces to leave the de-confliction zone around Syria’s At Tanf training site, saying Coalition forces are prepared to defend themselves.
The spokesperson said the presence of pro-regime forces was unacceptable and threatening to Coalition forces.
Images of the leaflets were shared on social media by the Hammurabi’s Justice News account.
Hammurabi’s Justice said the leaflets in its images were dropped “in the Maqha ash Shuhaymi area near the Damascus-Baghdad Highway” and warned pro-regime forces to “return to their outpost near Zaza checkpoint.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the leaflets read: “Any movements toward Al-Tanf will be considered an aggression that our forces defend against . . . you have entered a safe zone, leave the area now.”
The spokesperson for the Coalition told Grasswire it dropped leaflets within the At Tanf de-confliction zone “urging pro-regime forces to leave the area.”
The Coalition has observed pro-regime forces patrolling in the vicinity of the established de-confliction zone around the At Tanf training site in Syria, where Coalition forces have operated for many months training and advising vetted partner forces in the fight against ISIS.
These patrols and the continued armed and hostile presence of pro-regime forces inside the de-confliction zone is unacceptable and threatening to Coalition forces.
Coalition forces are prepared to defend themselves if pro-regime forces refuse to vacate the de-confliction zone.
The Coalition calls on all parties in southern Syria to continue their efforts on the defeat of ISIS, which is our common enemy and the greatest threat to regional and worldwide peace and security.
Spokesperson for CJTF-OIR
UPDATE Tuesday, May 30 Pentagon spokesperson Capt. Jeff Davis said pro-regime forces were constructing what appeared to be a firebase when the Coalition attacked a convoy near the US base northwest of At Tanf on May 18.
Leaflets reportedly dropped by US-led coalition on Shi'a militias near Al-Tanf.
Gives coordinates & tells militants to return to Zaza. pic.twitter.com/kRTJvkGFG5
— Tobias Schneider (@tobiaschneider) May 29, 2017