BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:40 P.M.) – The U.S. Air Force dropped leaflets over the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) positions in southeast Homs this weekend, demanding they halt their operations near the Tanf border-crossing into Iraq’s Al-Anbar Governorate.
Despite the warning by the U.S. forces, a Syrian Arab Army officer told Al-Masdar News, Monday, that their units will continue operations against the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Islamic State (ISIL) militants until the entire Iraqi border with southeast Syria is sealed.
The officer also informed Al-Masdar that the Russian military is deeply embedded with the Syrian Arab Army and their allies in southeast Homs; they have given the green light to continue operations.
While the U.S. attempts to strong-arm the Syrian military in favor of the rebels, the government forces greatly outnumber the latter in the region, making it difficult for the Free Syrian Army to maintain a large part of the Homs and Deir Ezzor governorates.
Moreover, the Free Syrian Army does not have the support of the Iraqi government or their powerful Popular Mobilization Units (Hashd Al-Sha’abi).
Without support from Baghdad, the Free Syrian Army will find it very difficult to fend off the Popular Mobilization Units and their allies that are embedded with the Syrian Armed Forces in southeast Homs.