February 9, 2018

TSC IntelBrief: The U.S. Hits Back in Syria 

(AP Photo/Susannah George) 
  • In a sign of what might lie ahead, the United States responded to a large attack on the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) by Syrian regime troops with a significant air and artillery counterattack.
  • The U.S. counterattack, which the regime labeled ‘a war crime,’ killed at least 100 regime supporters after they attacked ‘a well-established SDF headquarters’ east of the Euphrates River.
  • Russian mercenaries were reportedly among the forces that attacked the SDF position. Moscow labeled the counterattack an example of the U.S. trying to steal economic resources from Syria.
  • The longer-term U.S. presence in Syria is increasingly problematic as it tries to navigate fierce opposition from the regime, Russia, Iran, and even Turkey.