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Russia Attacks Secret American Base in Syria
In the days before the attack, the Russians and Americans met to come to some sort of agreement regarding conducting airstrikes in Syria to demolish a common enemy, ISIS. There was an agreement regarding attacking the Al-Nusra al-Qaeda group. Russian air attacks have been attacking U.S. backed Syrian rebel fighters, which defeats their purpose. The Obama team agreed with the Russian terms despite the objections from the Pentagon and CIA.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Russian aircraft struck a secret CIA base called At-Tanf, on June 16. The base acts as a buffer between Syria and Jordan, where the main American effort is based with training Jordan special forces etc. A day before, the 15th, some 25 British commandos were there and had left the base. On the 16th, American radar tracked the Russian aircraft as they approached the base area, yet, there was no interception to ward off the aircraft. The plane attacked using cluster bombs, damage was minimal. The action appeared symbolic.
After the attack, American officials in Qatar, where air control command is, called the Russian air command in Syria instructing them not to attack! Yet, 90 minutes later, the Russians attacked the base again! Prior to the attack, all communication channels both Russia and US agreed to use, were tried to avert another attack. The Russian pilots did not respond.
After this attack, the US demanded an explanation. The Russians had thought it was an ISIS base, which is quite laughable being where it it and fortified. Then, the Russian command said that Jordan had given them permission to attack the base (let the bullshit fly). When the US inquired with Jordan, Jordan said it was an lie. Finally, Russia said the pilot had improper coordinates because the Americans had not disclosed the location of the secret training base for rebels and Jordan.
It should be noted the base is located well out of the area Russia conducts air attack missions and leads one to conclude it was a special mission to send a message to the U.S. The base is near the Jordan border. Since the attack, the U.S. has told Russia to stay clear of the Jordan border area.
Obviously, Putin approved of the special air attacks on an allied airbase. One reason is simply to show bravado and the other to warn the U.S. and to test American responses and resolve. Perhaps, Putin was trying to create another incident, hoping the Americans or Jordanese aircraft would intercept and shoot down the single airplane.