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Drone attack targets US base in Syria, no injuries reported

A Russian surface-to-air missile systems Pantsir S-1 is pictured at the Russian military base of Hmeimim, located south-east of the city of Latakia in Hmeimim, Latakia Governorate, Syria, on September 26, 2019. - With military backing from Russia, President Bashar al-Assad's forces have retaken large parts of Syria from rebels and jihadists since 2015, and now control around 60 percent of the country. Russia often refers to troops it deployed in Syria as military advisers even though its forces and warplanes are also directly involved in battles against jihadists and other rebels (Photo by Maxime POPOV / AFP) (Photo credit should read MAXIME POPOV/AFP via Getty Images)
Air missile systems pictured at a military base in Syria, on 26 September 2019. [MAXIME POPOV/AFP/Getty Images]

The sole US base in Syria outside of Kurdish-held territory has come under attack by drones in a "deliberate and coordinated attack", US Central Command said today.

The attack last night struck the Al-Tanf base, where US soldiers are stationed near the strategically located highway in southern Syria near the Jordan border.

A US official told AFP that an attack had taken place but said that "We know of no casualties". A statement released by Central Command said that it is currently investigating the incident and stated that it will "defend itself" at "any time and place" of its choosing.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights – citing local witnesses – reported that several blasts were heard from the base. "Explosions resounded from the al-Tanf base used by the US-led coalition" fighting Daesh, the monitor said.

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A source also told the Al-Mayadeen news website that the area saw drones in conjunction with missile bombing adding that in a state of confusion the base underwent a redeployment among the members of the international coalition fearing a new wave of bombing.

The base was established in 2016 by the US-led coalition as part of its war against Daesh and is believed to have included the presence of British SAS forces. It has also been used to train US-backed and vetted armed opposition groups such as the Maghawir Al-Thawra (MaT).

Although no one has claimed responsibility for last night's attack, last week pro-Iranian militias in Syria vowed a "very harsh" response to an Israeli strike against their facilities in the Palmyra area in the eastern countryside of Homs. The Syrian defence ministry described the target as "a communications tower and some of its surrounding areas", adding that one soldier was killed and three wounded from Israeli missiles that flew over Jordanian airspace from the direction of the US base in Al-Tanf, suggesting it was a joint-operation.

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