Russian warplanes reportedly bombed a secret military base in Syria used by elite American and British forces.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the Russian strike on the CIA-linked site was part of a campaign by Russia to pressure the White House to agree to closer cooperation in the Syrian skies.
“The risk that U.S. and British forces could have been killed at the border garrison hardened opposition at the Pentagon and the CIA to accommodating the Russians. But White House and State Department o›cials, wary of an escalation in U.S. military involvement in Syria, decided to pursue a compromise.”
The United States and Russia have agreed to target airstrikes against the Al Quaeda a›liate in the region, Nusra Front, despite objections from the Pentagon and CIA. Russia agreed to stop airstrikes on U.S. backed rebels and restrain the Syrian air campaign. The two sides are still talking about designations where Russian would need United States approval to conduct an airstrike.
Officials in the Pentagon and CIA contend that Washington bowed to Moscow in the deal and believe that the United States needs to confront Russia.
The Wall Street Journal also reported on Friday that Russia’s air force had attacked the garrison of At-Tanf near the Jordanian border, which has been used by U.S. and British Special Forces as well as the Syrian opposition. Around 20 British troops had left less that 24-hours before the attack.
Subsequently, the U.S. informed the Russian air force command in Syria that the base was being used by the U.S. in the •ght against the Islamic state and should not be attacked. However, 90 minutes later, Russian jets reportedly attacked the base a second time.