The U.S.-led coalition announced on July 15 that 250 fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had completed a “specialized training program.”
In an official statement, the coalition revealed that the fighters, who completed training on July 5, would be sent to “critical Petroleum Infrastructure sites” in Syria’s northeastern region to guard them.
“The SDF, mentored by Special Operation Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, keep Daesh from funding its territorial control and operations,” the Special Operation Joint Task Force said in the statement.
The SDF controls all large oil fields in northeastern Syria with support from the coalition. Around 500 U.S. troops were kept in the region to “guard” the fields and keep them out of Damascus control.
250 @cmoc_sdf soldiers graduated a specialized training program on July 5, 2020 that allows them to be sent forward to Critical Petroleum Infrastructure sites to guard them. The #SDF, mentored by @SOJTF-OIR, keep Daesh from funding its territorial control and operations. pic.twitter.com/dvBWZE7kQU
— Special Ops Joint Task Force-OIR (Iraq/Syria) (@SOJTFOIR) July 15, 2020
Last April, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights revealed that the coalition is working to tighten its control over Syrian oil fields by recruiting guards from the SDF ranks. The group said the step was meant to strengthen U.S. influence in the northeast.
The U.S. is not hiding its plans to continue its military presence in northeastern Syria, especially in oil-rich areas. Damascus and Russia are challenging these plans by building a strong influence in the region.