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Russia, Iran quietly coordinating in Syria to pressure US, official says

Russia is trying to squeeze the US out of Syria's airspace while the IRGC continues to flow weapons used to attack US bases into the country, a senior military official said.
Soldiers of a Russian military convoy and their US counterparts exchange greetings as their patrol routes intersect in an oil field near Syria's al-Qahtaniyah town in the northeastern Hasakah province, close to the border with Turkey, on Oct. 8, 2022.

WASHINGTON — Russian combat pilots have dialed back a recent wave of threatening armed flights over US bases in Syria since the Pentagon deployed stealth F-22 fighter jets to the region in order to ward them off last month, a senior US military official said Friday.

Attacks by Iran-backed militias on US bases in Iraq and Syria have also fallen silent since the Biden administration authorized airstrikes in March that killed an estimated 11 militia members in response to a drone attack just hours earlier that killed a US contractor at the Rmeilan air base near Hasakah.

Nonetheless, a senior US military official said Friday he has seen signs that Russian military commanders in Syria have been quietly coordinating with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on long-term plans to pressure the United States to withdraw its forces from the country.

“There's a confluence of interests between those three groups — the Iranians, Russians and Syrians,” the official explained.

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