On July 29, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) captured two U.S.-backed fighters who snuck out of the occupied area of al-Tanaf to spy on military and civilian facilities.
According to the Syrian Arab News Agency, the two fighters, “Muhammad al-Dukhul” and “Abdullah Hawyan Shalash,” were ambushed and captured by the army near the town of al-Qaryatayn in the southern Homs countryside.
The fighters are members of the U.S.-backed Revolutionary Commando Army (MaT). This fairly small group guards al-Tanaf garrison and the surrounding 55-km zone.
Assault rifles and night-vision goggles were found in the fighters’ possession, while they confessed to participating in an information-gathering operation.
The fighters revealed that they were tasked to take photos of SAA posts and a number of economic facilities, including oil wells, on their way from al-Tanaf to al-Qaryatayn, in preparation for future sabotage operations.
The fighters also confirmed that they were dealing with ISIS, whose cells are known to be moving in the desert between Homs and Damascus.
Earlier this month, the SAA ambushed a group of the MaT around al-Tanaf. Three U.S.-backed fighters were killed and three others were captured. The fighters were reportedly on their way back from an arms deal with ISIS terrorists.
The SAA is keeping a close eye at al-Tanaf to address the growing threat posed both by ISIS and U.S.-backed fighters, who are cooperating against Damascus.