Russian warplanes bombed a garrison used by US and British forces in Syria twice last month, despite being warned by a US surveillance aircraft flying nearby that the base was not occupied or being used by members of ISIS.
The airstrikes — which hit the base in southeastern Syria just 24 hours after 20 British special forces had left and killed four US-backed rebels — appear to have been Moscow's way of pressuring the US into sharing military intelligence and coordinating more closely with the Russians in Syria, The Wall Street Journal's Adam Entous reported.
Moscow initially told the Pentagon that it thought that the base was being used by ISIS, according to the report. It later claimed that US Central Command's refusal to provide Russia with the garrison's coordinates was largely to blame for the incident.
Nearly a month after the first incident, Entous reported, Russia dropped cluster bombs on another US-linked base on the Jordanian border housing CIA-backed rebels and their families.
Washington's reluctance to coordinate with Moscow in Syria has largely stemmed from the Russians' pattern of targeting US-backed rebel groups there under the guise of defeating "terrorists" who oppose Syria's president and Russia's close ally, Bashar Assad. READ MORE