The United States will step up its military presence in Syria to prevent Islamic State fighters from gaining access to oil wells and incomes, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said, while the Syrian regime and its Russian ally were placing troops on the Syrian-Turkish border.
Trump seems to have changed plans to withdraw US troops from Syria following opposition in Congress, also coming from prominent Republicans, who say he has facilitated the long-threatened Turkish invasion of Kurdish forces in Syria, US allies in the fight against the Islamic State.
“We are now taking some action … to strengthen our position in Deir al-Zor, to ensure that we can ban ISIS access to oil wells,” Esper told reporters during a press conference.
The US secretary did not say how many forces are currently in the area, nor how many additional forces will be sent.
Any major US military presence on the ground should have adequate defense against possible attacks, especially in the oil-rich areas of Syria that may become targets not only of Islamic State fighters, but possibly also supported by Russia or by the Iranian forces operating in the country.
The gap created by the partial American withdrawal announced by Trump has been exploited by Russia, moving its forces in the region. US officials worry that Iranian-backed forces in Syria may also exploit the chaos.
In addition, some 300 additional members of the Russian military police stationed in Chechnya have arrived in Syria, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced today, under an agreement between Ankara and Moscow, which suspended the Turkish military command. Syria.
According to a photographer with the French Agency, a large troop convoy carrying hundreds of soldiers holding Syrian flags arrived last night in Campani, a town on the northern tip of Syria.
Syrian soldiers marched through the city streets shouting, “One, one, one, the Syrian people are one!”.
Near the town of Kamli, where Kurds live, Russian armored vehicles departed from a base of the Syrian regime headed west for a new day of patrols near the Turkish border under the agreement between Moscow and Ankara.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, about 180 vehicles of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army arrived in Kobani today.
Developments in the Syrian conflict greatly benefit the Assad regime, an ally of Syria, which has recovered large swaths of land that it had not controlled for years.