US begins military exercise in Syria in response to Russian military threats

(CNN)More than 100 US troops began an unexpected exercise in southern Syria on Friday in direct response to a series of Russian military threats, according to a US defense official.

The exercise was detailed in a statement from the US Central Command but did not mention that the command ordered the exercise specifically after a September 1 warning from Russia that it was going to enter a restricted area of southern Syria where US troops are located, the official said.
The exercise, which may last for several days, involves US troops flying into the coalition’s At Tanf garrison by assault helicopter and conducting live fire drills.

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