Qamishli
© Reuters / SANA / Handout
A convoy of US military vehicles moves in the village of Khirbet Amo, near Qamishli, Syria February 12, 2020.
American forces in Syria were involved in an armed incident near the city of Kamyshly in the northeastern province of Hasake, today February 12th. Local Kurdish sources report that the conflict took place at the pro-government checkpoint of the National Defense Forces (militias fighting on the side of Bashar al-Assad's troops ) in the Khirbat-Amo region east of Kamyshly airport on the southern outskirts of the city. The shootout between the US military and pro-government militias was followed by strikes from the U.S. Air Force.

According to other reports, units of the Russian military police arrived at the scene of the incident "for mediation."

The incident threatens to increase tension between US and Russian forces in the region, The Defense Post notes.

The U.S. Air Force dealt at least one strike in the northeastern region of Syria (Hasake province) after an incident at a checkpoint where the US military killed one person. Syrian state news agency SANA reports that one civilian was killed and another wounded when US forces opened fire after their armored vehicles were stopped at a checkpoint east of the city of Kamyshly (the unofficial capital of Syrian Kurdistan).

Residents of two villages of Kharbat Amou and Boyar al-Assi in northeastern Syria staged a protest against the presence of the US troops in the region and hurled stones at the American soldiers, making them retreat from the region.

According to the report, the people of the two villages were angered by the American occupation forces' violent reaction, attacked and damaged the vehicles. The US military men then demanded for support from their comrades in nearby areas and could flee the scene with their assistance, but some residents of Kharbat Amou said three US fighter jets launched airstrikes on the village after the incident.

In the meantime, the residents of Boyar al-Assi also attacked the US military vehicles with stones and pulled down the US flag.

Reports say the US armored convoy was stopped at a Syrian Army checkpoint in a village near the town of Qamishli on Wednesday. The altercation attracted a large group of civilians, who tried to block the convoy from advancing any further.



Video footage, allegedly recorded in Khirbet Ammu, show people in civilian clothing - as well as in military uniforms - fire their Kalashnikovs in the direction of the US armored vehicles. It remains unclear who opened fire first, as each side blamed the other for the shooting.



Comment: Sputnik provides video of the US jets bombing the Syrian Army.


According to the Russian Centre for Syrian Reconciliation, the Russian servicemen prevented further escalation and ensured the exit of the US military convoy in the direction of a US base in Haseke province.
A military journalist, meanwhile, published footage alleging a US airstrike on Syrian army positions in Qamishli. The video appears to show an F-15E jet belonging to the US Air Force flying over the area. The journalist claimed that this jet dropped a bomb as a warning to the Syrian army. An attack, however, was not captured on video.

​There has been no statement issued from the US-led coalition regarding the footage. According to Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Myles Caggins, the US-led coalition in Syria opened fire on civilians "in self-defense". Caggins said the coalition was investigating the incident.

Tensions in Syria escalated over the past week after the Turkish Defenсe Ministry said its soldiers and a civilian died in a shelling by Syrian forces at Turkey's observation post in the province of Idlib.

Ankara has threatened to attack Syrian government troops outside the Idlib de-escalation zone if they are found to have conducted what the Turkish forces consider to be offensive operations.


Comment: Fort Russ reports on a joint attack by Russian and Syrian forces in Idlib.


More than 60 Islamic militants were killed and dozens injured in a series of airstrikes in the Syrian province of Idlib. According to a senior military source of the Sputnik Arabic agency, a joint air raid of the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Air Force was carried out in front of the Khayyat Tahrir al-Sham Islamist alliance being prepared by the militants ash-Sham ", the former" Jebhat al-Nusra ") and the pro-Turkish" National Liberation Front "(NFO) in the area of ​​the city of Maarat al-Numan.

According to the Turkish Ministry of Defense, in two days (February 10-11), the Syrian armed forces lost more than 150 military as a result of "retaliatory strikes" and "acts of self-defense" of the Turkish contingent in the territory of the neighboring Arab republic.

The Turkish command admitted that as a result of the attacks on Taftanaz, at least 5 Turkish military personnel were killed and as many were injured. Local sources report that significantly more wounded were taken out from under the Taftanaz, directing them towards the Syrian-Turkish border. It has been suggested that the real number of military casualties by Turkey is significantly greater than the announced five-person figure.


Comment: Forth Russ also reports that the Syrian Arab Army has liberated a number of key areas as well as the entire Aleppo-Damascus highway.


It added that the Syrian army soldiers could for the first time after years enter the village of al-Sheikh Ali in the west of Aleppo-Damascus highway. For the first time in more than seven years, Syrian army forces managed to wrest control of a key highway connecting the capital Damascus to the second-largest city Aleppo.

The London-based so-called "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" (SOHR) reported on Tuesday that Syrian soldiers and their allied fighters had recaptured the M5 highway after liberating an area in Aleppo Province, which was the last terrorist foothold on the highway.

Idlib and the area north of Aleppo form part of the only large territory still in the hands of terrorists. The Syrian military has managed to undo militant gains across the country and bring back almost all of the Syrian soil under the control of the legitimate government.

Previously, the Syrian army took back control of the two villages of Khan al-Assal and Kafar Nouran in western Aleppo from the terrorists. The Arabic-language service of SANA news agency reported that Khan al-Assal in western Aleppo and Kafar Nouran in southwestern Aleppo were recaptured on Tuesday evening and cleansed of terrorists.

The Syrian army troops advanced in the western parts of Aleppo city too and liberated several districts of the Rashideen region, forcing the terrorists to flee the second biggest city of Syria. Security has strengthened along the Aleppo-Damascus international highway after the recent developments and the Syrian army's control over more regions.


Comment: More from Fort Russ detailing the US army's maneuvers in Iraq.


The US has sent large amounts of equipment to Ein al-Assad recently after the IRGC's retaliatory missile strike against the base last month. Ein Al-Assad, which houses US troops, is one of the largest and oldest military bases and located in Al-Anbar province in western Iraq.

The terrorist group has intensified its attacks in Iraq and Syria following the United States' assassination of Iran's top commander, residents and monitors say. The Associated Press (AP) announced in an analysis that Daesh "clearly gained at least temporary breathing room" after tensions between Iran and the US escalated in the aftermath of the martyrdom of General Soleimani.

Unofficial reports said the US army's central radar systems at Ein Al-Assad had been jammed by electronic warfare.