The U.S. reportedly bombed pro-regime forces in Syria earlier today:
A US defence official told the FT the US carried out a strike in southern Syria on Thursday.
“A coalition air unit struck a pro-regime convoy in the vicinity of Tanf,” said the official, who added that coalition forces have been operating at Tanf “training local vetted Syrian opposition forces to fight Isis.”
The report says that the local commander “assessed they posed a threat to coalition forces” and ordered the attack. If that’s the case, it might be an isolated incident, but it shows how easily the U.S. can be pulled into a new conflict because of its support for opposition groups inside Syria and the decision to expand the unauthorized war on ISIS into Syria. For the second time this year, U.S. forces have committed an act of war against the Syrian government and its allies inside their own country, and there has been no authorization from Congress or the U.N. for any of it. As long as the U.S. keeps backing anti-regime insurgents in Syria and is willing to attack pro-regime forces as part of that support, there will be a danger that an incident like this could lead to a larger conflict with the Syrian government and its patrons. Each time U.S. forces attack the Syrian government and their allies, it becomes more likely that someone on their side will retaliate against U.S. forces in Syria or Iraq, and before we know it we could be mired in fighting against several new enemies that we didn’t have before. This is one of many reasons why the U.S. should be looking for ways to disentangle itself from Syria’s war.