According to military officials, an entire Islamic State assault team was annihilated by U.S. special forces troops while the ISIS fighters were attacking a joint base in a remote desert area in south eastern region of Syria Saturday.
Speaking to NBC News, a U.S. military official said: “The enemy got crushed.”
The Islamic State jihadists used a suicide vehicle carrying an improvised explosive device (IED) to trigger the attack on al-Tanf military base. It was followed by a ground assault consisting of around 20 to 30 ISIS militants, several of whom were wearing suicide vests, two U.S. officials told NBC News.
U.S. forces are garrisoned at the desert base near the Syria-Jordan border, which is employed as a training facility for Syrian rebels. The base defenders got further assistance from other U.S. ground units patrolling the vicinity, who learned about the attack. In addition to direct fire, American and coalition troops killed the Islamic State fighters by calling in air-strikes. None of the attackers survived the battle while there were no U.S. casualties.
Two days before the attack, dozens of Tomahawk cruise-missiles fired by two U.S. Navy destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean hit the Syrian military’s al-Sharyat airbase as a reaction to Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons attack on the rebel-held town of Idlib.
The al-Sharyat missile strike was a “one-off” incident, according to a statement by a U.S. Pentagon official released Thursday evening.