US Reversing Northeastern Syria Pullout, Will Add Tanks

Israel

Photo Credit: DoD photo by Tom Gagnier

Soldiers unloading an M1 Abrams battle tank.

Following President Donald Trump’s recent decision to pull some 1,000 US troops from northeastern Syria, which was quickly followed a Turkish invasion of a large area across the Syrian border and the hasty evacuation of Kurdish forces, a Pentagon official announced on Thursday the US intends to send its troops back into northeastern Syria, to protect the oil fields from an ISIS insurgency.

On Wednesday, Trump said that Isis fighters who had escaped from Kurdish captivity had been “largely recaptured.” But US special envoy for Syria James Jeffrey told Congress that “a bit more than 100 Isis detainees have escaped” and that “We do not know where they are.”

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Fox News and CNN reported Thursday night that the US is planning to introduce tanks and other heavy military equipment to the Conoco gas plant near the city of Deir Ezzor, where in February 2018 heroic US special forces chased away pro-Assad militias and Russian mercenaries, killing hundreds.

President Trump recently told reporters that the while withdrawing its forces from the war zone, the US had also “secured the oil,” suggesting a more complex move than just packing and leaving. Indeed, on Thursday, Trump tweeted: “Perhaps it is time for the Kurds to start heading to the oil region!”

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Thursday was briefed on the situation by Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley, and later said: “There’s a plan coming together from the Joint Chiefs, that I think may work, that may give us what we need to prevent ISIS from coming back around.”

On Thursday, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted all foreign military deployed in Syria illegitimately, must leave the country, stressing: “As for the presence of American soldiers in Syria, our position is well-known — only the Russian units are present in Syria legitimately at the invitation of the Syrian leadership.”

Peskov reminded reporters, but was in reality addressing the Kurds in Syria, that “the United States in recent years was the Kurds’ closest ally,” but “in the end, the US abandoned the Kurds. In fact, it betrayed them. It has preferred to leave the Kurds on the border, nearly forcing them to fight the Turks.”

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