US, Turkey Send Additional Reinforcements Into Bases in Oil-Rich Northeast Syria

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Hasaka, Syria – US occupation forces have dispatched a convoy of trucks carrying military equipment to Syria’s northeastern province of Hasaka, Syrian media reported. Local sources told Syria’s official news agency SANA that since 4 days ago, the US military has sent a convoy consisting of 50 trucks carrying military and logistical equipment from Iraq into Syria’s oil-rich province via the al-Walid border crossing.

The sources said the convoy headed from al-Yaroubiya countryside northeast of Hasaka towards US-occupied bases in Tal Beydar. Al-Walid border crossing, known in Syria as al-Tanf, is one of the three official border crossings between Syria and Iraq.

The sources also said that Turkish forces also brought in large amounts of military reinforcements into Syria through Ras al-Ayn and al-Sukkariyah crossings in northern Hasakah countryside. They added that the Turkish military convoy headed toward the villages of Bab al-Khair, Dawodyah and Anyq al-Hawa in Abu Rasin district in the northern parts of the oil-rich province.

Since late October 2019, the United States has been redeploying troops to the oil fields controlled by its allied Kurdish forces in eastern Syria, in a reversal of an earlier decision to withdraw all troops from there. The military build-up is reportedly part of Washington’s rivalry with some of its regional allies to maintain control over Syria’s oil reserves and plunder its natural resources.

The presence of US forces in eastern Syria has particularly irked civilians, and local residents have on several occasions stopped American military convoys entering the region. The US has long been providing the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) with arms and militant training, calling them a key partner in the purported fight against the Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) terrorist group.

Many observers, however, see the support in the context of a US scheme to carve out a foothold in Syria. Such support has also infuriated US NATO ally, Turkey, which views militants from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) – the backbone of the SDF – as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that has been engaged in a war for liberation inside Turkey for decades.

The presence of US-backed YPG in northern and northeastern parts of Syria has prompted Turkey, for its part, to conduct a cross-border offensive into the country to purportedly eliminate the Kurdish militants and occupy a long narrow border area in Syria’s north. The US and a number of its allies began conducting airstrikes in Syria in September 2014 without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.

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