Updated November 21
Around 180 fighters were recently demobilized from Jaysh Maghawir Al-Thawra (MaT), the U.S.-led Coalition vetted Syrian opposition partner force training around the At Tanf de-confliction zone in southern Syria.
“We can confirm that about 180 Maghaweir al Thowra fighters recently completed their military service and are transitioning back to civilian life,” a Coalition spokesperson told The Defense Post in a Monday, November 20 email.
“These men have served honorably in the war against ISIS, and many will now play an important role in the reconstruction of Syrian infrastructure and the reconstitution of its economy,” the spokesperson said adding that the Coalition sees the demobilization as a “reassuring sign of return to normalcy for a country that has been at war for more than five years.”
The spokesperson said the discharge of Maghawir Al-Thawra fighters is not linked to the implementation of the de-escalation zone in southern Syria agreed recently in Jordan.
Update November 21 A Coalition spokesperson told The Defense Post that the demobilized MaT fighters retained their U.S.-supplied M-16 rifles for personal protection, but that other equipment was returned.
“Coalition Forces’ policy was to recoup heavy weapons and vehicles that had been issued. The fighters were allowed to retain their personal M-16 rifles for protection purposes,” the spokesperson said.
Coalition special forces are training the sole remaining Vetted Syrian Opposition force, Jaysh Maghawir Al-Thawra (MaT) in the At Tanf area. The 55-km radius deconfliction zone is surrounded on three sides by pro-regime forces, while the fourth is the border with Iraq and Jordan. MaT maintains security of the zone.
On Sunday it was revealed that Coalition and Maghawir Al-Thawra forces defeated an ISIS attack near At Tanf deconfliction zone last week. Nine ISIS fighters were killed and several vehicles were destroyed in the engagement.
In September, a Coalition spokesperson told The Defense Post that MaT was still a Vetted Syrian Opposition force and remains at the At Tanf base, contrary to claims it joined a new operations room to fight in Deir Ezzor.