Footage has appeared online of U.S. troops coming under fire from pro-Assad militias at a checkpoint in northern Syria. Russian troops were also present at the incident but took a step back once the firefight began. Another video we recently covered shows the incident being filmed by Russian military police from the cab of a GAZ-2975 “Tigr”, you can read our lowdown on that footage here.
What was the story behind the incident between US troops and pro-Assad forces?
The Firefight took place on February 12th of this year, after U.S. military vehicles were held up at a checkpoint manned by militia members aligned to the Syrian government in a village outside the city of Qamishli in northeastern Syria.
A statement from the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State (IS) terror group stated that U.S. troops opened fire at a checkpoint manned by forces loyal to the Syrian regime forces after they came under small arms fire and petrol bomb attacks.
No U.S. troops were harmed and all returned to base safely, it’s unclear if any pro-Assad militia members were killed. In another article, which you can read here, we covered the attack from the angle of the pro-Assad militants attacking U.S. vehicles.
The Syrian Civil war
The Syrian civil war began in 2011 and continues to rage into its tenth year. The war in Syria is an ongoing multi-sided civil war in Syria being fought between the Ba’athist Syrian Arab Republic led by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, along with domestic and foreign allies such as Iran and Russia, and various domestic and foreign forces opposing both the Syrian government and each other in varying combinations. The war is currently the second deadliest of the 21st century.
The Syrian Civil War erupted during the Arab Spring protests in 2011. Discontent with the long-reigning Assad regime turned into protests which were subsequently put down with violent force by the Assad regime. Shortly after, the discontent erupted into armed conflict.
The war is multi-sided and features a range of domestic factions: the Syrian Armed Forces and its international allies, a loose alliance of mostly Sunni opposition rebel groups (including the Free Syrian Army), Salafi jihadist groups (including Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham), the Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and the ISIS. However, the Syrian Civil War is most certainly an international conflict that features various countries being either directly involved or providing support to one or another faction such as Iran, Russia, Turkey, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Almost every side involved in the Syrian Civil War has been heavily criticized for their behavior or actions. The Assad government, ISIS, opposition rebel groups, Russia, Turkey, and the U.S.-led coalition have all been accused of human rights breaches and war crimes. The war has caused the most serious refugee crisis in modern times.