The US government is concerned because the Syrian war machine continues to conquer its own territory. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Washington is once again concerned about Syrian government expansion inside… wait for it… Syria.
The United States threatened to take “firm and appropriate measures” against Syrian government forces, claiming repeat “ceasefire violations” and concerned over reports that the Syrian Army may be poised for a new military operation to retake Deraa in the country’s south.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said late Friday, “As a guarantor of this de-escalation area with Russia and Jordan, the United States will take firm and appropriate measures in response to Assad regime violations.”
Nauert referenced the thus far tenuously-holding deal between the US, Russia, and Jordan struck last November which among other stipulations proposed efforts for “the reduction, and ultimate elimination of foreign forces and foreign fighters from the area to ensure a more sustainable peace.” This was widely interpreted at the time as calling for an “Iran-free” zone in southern Syria, as Israel has long threatened to go to war should Iranian troops be present near its border.
The State Department warnings come at the end of a week in which Syrian state media claimed US fighter jets attacked Syrian Army positions in the eastern desert near the Iraq border overnight Wednesday, which reportedly killed 12 pro-government fighters.
The US, however, has denied any involvement: “We have no operational reporting of a U.S.-led coalition strike against pro-Syrian regime targets or forces,” CENTCOM spokesman Captain Bill Urban said in a statement. And a separate Pentagon spokesman said, “These reports are false, the coalition did not strike any Syrian army positions in eastern Syria.”
And less than 24 hours later, another airstrike on a base in central Syria is widely reported to have involved Israel, believed to have targeted a Hezbollah weapons depot.
Notably, a Reuters report acknowledges the US warning issued late Friday comes as 1) Syrian government forces have cleaned out the last ISIS pockets in the country’s south; and 2) Damascus is now “in its strongest position since the early months of the war in 2011”. Reuters notes further that the government has “recaptured all remaining insurgent areas near Damascus in recent weeks, including the densely populated eastern Ghouta area, as well as big enclaves in central Syria.”
So essentially while warning against “Assad regime violations” and expansion, the State Department is reasserting the US position that Syria cannot “expand” within its own sovereign borders (borders obviously long recognized internationally and by the United Nations).
To continue reading: US Threatens Syria With “Firm And Appropriate Measures” After New Airstrikes