The US-backed rebels bombed by Russian jets on June 16 reported the aircraft used cluster bombs on their position, which was far from any location Russia had previously targeted. The US-led Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve is still reviewing the reports of the strike near al-Tanf, where rebels fighting ISIS were struck, resulting in “a number” killed and wounded. British Army Maj. Gen. Doug Chalmers, the deputy commander of strategy and sustainment for the coalition, said he and other leaders in the group were “very surprised” by the attack. “It wasn’t close to any of the regime forces,” he said during a Thursday briefing. “It was way outside of the normal pattern of Russian activity that we’ve seen.” There are ongoing “high-level” discussions between the US and Russians to determine what happened so future incidents can be avoided, he said.
Adm. Christopher Grady, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs and head of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, is pushing a “portfolio” approach to requirements and wants his position to have “more teeth” so he can enforce it.