Russia has carried out a series of operations against the U.S.-led coalition in Syria in June, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday citing U.S. military officials. In what one U.S. official described as a "significant increase in provocation."
U.S. military officials, the report said, are worried that Russian actions might escalate into an unplanned conflict between U.S. and Russian forces in Syria. Tensions between Moscow and Washington already run high following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
According to the report, Russian forces on Wednesday struck al-Tanf, a U.S. military base, where some 200 U.S. military personnel are stationed alongside local fighters in a bid to suppress a resurgence of the Islamic State. The report however states that Russia informed the U.S. of the attack through a communication line set long ago, suggesting it was not targeting American troops, but looking to harass U.S.-led coalition in Syria.
Despite no U.S. or coalition casualties, a U.S. military official described the operation as a "significant increase in provocation" this month, the report said.
On Thursday, the U.S. detained a senior Islamic State group leader in Syria during an early-morning operation on Thursday, the U.S.-led international coalition against ISIS announced, the first such coalition operation in areas effectively under Turkish control.
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The coalition conducts raids and strikes targeting the group's members, which has been waging insurgent attacks since its former leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in a U.S. operation in 2019.
The coalition did not specify in what part of Syria Thursday's raid took place.
U.S. special forces in February undertook a helicopter raid in Syria's Idlib province controlled by jihadist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) that led to the death of Islamic State leader Abu Ibrahim Al-Hashemi Al-Quraishi.