US Enhances Military Presence in Syria


Foreign Affairs

Tel Aviv: The United States is enhancing its military presence in Syria, to better protect the Syrian oil fields that Russia wants to exploit. Last year, a Russian company signed a deal with the Assad regime to get the rights to search for oil in Syria and in the offshore of this country.

The move comes in parallel to the increased Iranian aggression against the US forces in Iraq and Syria. Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has claimed responsibility for a rocket attack that on March 13 targeted the American consulate in Irbil.

The IRGC released a statement taking responsibility for the missile attack against Israeli “strategic centres” in Irbil, Iran’s state media reported. The attack follows a report that US President Joe Biden considers removing the IRGC from the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list.

Dr Mordechai Kedar, a senior Israeli expert on Middle East issues said that there are different opinions in DC about this issue when the wish to sign a new nuclear agreement with Iran “leading the way” without considering the basic facts about the Iranian military body.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on March 18, urged the United States not to delist Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terror group as it moves closer to reviving the nuclear agreement with Tehran.

“The Revolutionary Guards are a terrorist organization that has murdered thousands of people, including Americans. We have a hard time believing that the United States will remove it from the definition of a terrorist organization,” Bennett and Lapid said.

The IRGC missile attack and updated intelligence data point to an Iranian effort to increase the operations against American targets as part of the retaliation against some recent operations attributed to Israel.

Sources in Syria say that the US military has sent additional military and logistical reinforcements to its bases in northern Syria, two days after the Iranian missile attack on Irbil, in northern Iraq.

The Turkish News Agency – Anadolu has learned that dozens of trucks crossed from Iraq to Syria through the al-Walid Gate on the border, on March 14 and 15, and reached an American base in the Ramlan area of Hasaka district in northern Syria.

The Turkish news agency added that Washington has further strengthened its bases in the Hasaka and Deir a-Zor districts in Syria, following the Iranian missile attack on Irbil, in northern Iraq. The military convoy included 30 Humvees, a fuel tanker and a lot of ammunition, and it reached an area that includes YPG / PKK-controlled oil fields.

According to the Rudaw website, Mazloum Abdi, General Commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), received a senior US delegation, discussing latest developments, including the Islamic State (ISIS) threat, the SDF said in a statement last week. Rudaw Media Network’s headquarters are in Irbil, the capital city of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and it has offices in several countries around the globe.

According to the report, the US State Department’s Near Eastern Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary for Levant, Ethan Goldrich, and for Iraq, Jennifer Gavito, and National Security Council Director for Syria Zehra Bell met with the SDF and its political arm, the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), according to a statement issued by the department on Monday without specifying the location and time of the meeting.

“The meeting stressed the partnership between north and eastern Syria and the US-led international coalition would continue. There were exchanged views on the latest developments regarding the campaign against the terrorist organization ISIS, especially after the attack on the al-Sina’a prison in al-Hasaka,” the statement read.

Syrian Kurds have been Washington’s main allies on the ground in the fight against ISIS since the group controlled swathes of land in Syria and Iraq in 2014. The US has provided ammunition and military support to the SDF as well as mediating between Kurdish ruling and opposition parties.