Islamic State suicide bombers on Aug. 7 attacked a military base for U.S.-backed fighters near the Syria-Iraq border, rebel sources said, Reuters reported. The dawn attack on the heavily defended military camp near the Syrian Al Tanf border crossing with Iraq involved at least one explosive-laden vehicle that rammed the gate of the base, which was set up by the fledgling New Syrian Army. The New Syrian Army's base has been hit twice previously by Russian airstrikes, forcing the U.S. military into discussions with Moscow to halt them.
The New Syrian Army was formed around 18 months ago using insurgents driven from eastern Syria at the height of the Islamic State's rapid expansion in 2014. Islamic State militants moved south into southern Syria and the Al Tanf area after they were driven out of Palmyra in central Syria this year. The militants still control the al-Bukamal border crossing near Deir el-Zour. The New Syrian Army launched an attack from the Al Tanf base on al-Bukamal in June, but the operation, which aimed to capture the town and cut supply lines for the group between Syria and Iraq, failed after rebels were encircled on the approaches of the town.