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Ignoring the Astana Talks, the US Is Increasing Its Military Presence in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor Province

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Ignoring the Astana Talks, the US Is Increasing Its Military Presence in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor Province

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Written by Peter Korzun; Originally appeared on strategic-culture.org

President Trump’s announcement that he intends to order the US military out of Syria attracted a lot of public attention, unlike the war preparations that preceded and followed those statements.

Three months ago, the American military established an outpost in Manbij, in the wake of Turkey’s threats to seize control of the area. The US has some 300 soldiers based at two facilities there. In March, US Marines beefed up the military presence at the Al-Tanf base in southern Syria that is located just a few miles from the Jordanian border. The American military has established a 55-km. no-go zone around that facility.

On May 15, US personnel were reported to be setting up a new base in Badiyeh al-Sha’afa in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province. It’s hard to believe that this move is justified by the need to confront the Islamic State — that once-powerful enemy now on the brink of extinction. One does not need new bases to finish it off. The Syrian army is well versed in how to do that.

Last month US forces were also reported to be building a new outpost at the al-Omar oil field in southeastern Deir ez-Zor. They were deployed to positions around the Conoco and al-Jafreh oil fields. On April 7, the area around the oil fields in Deir ez-Zor was declared a military zone by the US-led SDF. That group has already clashed with Syrian forces in the fight to control the province.

The SDF is constantly reinforcing its positions in Deir ez-Zor as part of its ongoing Operation Al-Jazeera Storm, which was launched on May 1. It recently seized al-Baghuz and is pushing the remaining ISIS forces out of the pocket of Hajin and al-Dashisha along the border with Iraq. These operations are coordinated with the Iraqi air force. The SDF Arab-Kurdish forces have liberated about 65 square kilometers from Daesh. Making short work of whatever is left of the Islamic State is certainly a good thing, but Syrian troops will not be allowed in. The territory will become part of a quasi-state created to become a separate entity.

Despite its recent claims to the contrary, the US is hunkering down in Syria for the long haul. The US, Saudi Arabia, and France have already discussed the possibility of joint actions against Iran. The administration is pressing its Arab allies to do more. French forces are already operating in Deir ez-Zor together with the SDF.

The US buildup in northeastern Syria is important for cutting off any direct land route from Tehran across to the Mediterranean.

It is symbolic that the United States was not present at the Astana round of talks on May 14-15. It shows that Washington is no longer interested in de-escalation zones. It wants a divided Syria, with a new, pro-US entity on the map of the Middle East. It is creating local governing bodies that operate independently from Damascus, with enough money flowing in to keep them functional. And it would like to see other parts of Syria plunge into an all-against-all war. Instead of nation-building, Washington is engaged in nation-destruction. That’s why it continues to train rebel forces at Al-Tanf. The militants are not undergoing special exercises to hone their skills for peacekeeping operations, but rather for subversive activities.

Syria’s territorial integrity is guaranteed by UN Resolution 2254 — a binding document that the US, along with France, is in flagrant violation of.

But what if the US achieves in Syria what it wanted to do in Iraq — create a prosperous, pro-Western “democratic” state that can become a shining example for other Arab states to follow? The Iraqis have failed to grasp this “opportunity.” On May 15, they proved that once again by voting for Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of Saraya al-Salam, who fought against the US-imposed “liberation.”

The UN General Assembly’s condemnation of Washington’s decision to relocate its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem shows how badly the US needs a success to rescue its waning clout in the region. Becoming the leader of the anti-Iranian coalition is how they’ve decided to do that and the location for that is Syria. The creation of a pro-Western entity in northeastern Syria will weaken Iran’s influence in Iraq and keep Russia contained.

But things could go the other way around. What if the Kurdish-dominated forces plunge into clashes with the local Arab population and the problems of inefficient local governance mount, while the Astana process makes progress thanks to the cease-fire and restoration of peaceful life in the de-escalation zones? A Kurdish-dominated entity, even if it is pro-US, is not something that Turkey may like or accept. Will the partition of Syria boost US standing in the region? Other Arab nations will think twice about letting America play a role in the management of any conflict. There are more questions than answers, but we have what we have — the US military presence in Syria is ballooning, hampering peace efforts and provoking armed conflicts.

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as

I’ll just say that anything could happen to these troops and it would be hard to know who’s deed is it with Syria, Iran and Turkey hostile towards them along with their own government historically extensive in using false flags attack towards their own.

Ronald

Iraq being another hostile, the US is about to start sending body bags home from Syria, Iraq and Jordan, the French as well, those fools too will be “done”.

as

Iraq and Turkey. Once both of them start taking out PKK in Syria it will be hard for FUKUS to go against them directly.

Joe Dirt

Fake news

Carol Davidek-Waller

Stealing Syrian oil won’t work any better than trying to steal Iraq’s oil.

TiredOfBsToo

You’re witnessing the true values of the psychopaths that run the US i.e. murder, destruction and theft; often it’s labeled humanitarian intervention, but the only ones fooled are the psychos and ignorant.

Ace

The left screamed “Blood for oil!” at the time but it turned out that wasn’t our objective. At least, I’m aware of no discussions or agreements giving us some kind of deal on oil. Or of any attempt to steal oil from Iraq. In point of fact, there came a time where the Iraqi government awarded oil contracts to . . . ? You guessed it. China!

If we stole anything from Iraq it was the lives of over a million of its people and their cities (in that we wreaked destruction of them as we have done in Syria).

I think what’s criminal is our stupid playing at God, trying to wave our staff over Syria and have all problems go away and wise and benevolent government to appear. We could do with a little of that action here at home.

Carol Davidek-Waller

As I said, the US tried to steal Iraqi oil and failed. The human cost was implied.

Ace

I still don’t see any attempt to “steal” oil. What specifically did we do to try to do that? How were we stopped and by whom? Just resisting U.S. forces is not frustrating a U.S. plan to steal oil.

Just invading an oil-rich country doesn’t automatically involve stealing oil. In Libya, no oil is being removed at the point of a gun and transported to France or the U.S.

Carol Davidek-Waller

Just invading?

Rob

As long as even single Israeli terrorist and ISIS exist in this world then forget about peace in this world.

Rob

As long as even single US and UK army soldier present outside US and UK border then forget about peace in this world.

Alexis Goldwasser

Putin is a paper tiger. Even if america or israel were to destroy the jets on the ground at khmeimim, russia wouldnt lift a finger.

Alexis Goldwasser

Putin has proven just how much of an ally to syria he is when he failed to retaliate after the recent cruise missile strikes after all that boasting about ww3

Rob

Those that support Israeli terrorists and ISIS will die soon.

antoun

tien one trool zionist! terrorist! trump and bibi are tiger paper!!

Terra Cotta Woolpuller

Putin supports no one in the conflict between Syria and Israel and would retaliate against Israel if they struck even by accident a Russian plane by shooting down every plane in Lebanese borders. US would have no choice but to back Russia in that event as the memorandum already exists. Putin didn’t have to as they were largely a failure and 3rd and 4th waves were called off when they did respond. Just stop thinking Israel is tough as you know and I know it’s different story when fighting an opponent well capable of defeating you in open combat.

Remember it was the West which backed down in the end and knowing when to strike is part of the art of combat, not this bully bluster by the West and Israeli soldiers as we’ve seen here.

Alan Foo

Russian forces are only to kill and destroy ISIS who cannot fight back. But not against US or Israrli forces.

They would be clobbered very fast.

Assad is on his own as far as US and Israel is concerned. Assad is best to make peace with America to stop the war he cannot win

velociraptor

Russian forces are only to kill and destroy ISIS who cannot fight back. But not against US or Israrli forces.

i recommand you big mouth speeches of putin from autuimn 2015. Also earlier articles of SF.

Manuel Flores Escobar

Do you think that if Russia deploy S-400 in Damascus and Deir Ezzor and impose a non fly zone..USA and Israel would attack Russia?… the answer is NOT…USA and Kurds combat ISIS in east Deir Ezzor otherwise Russia and SAA should have to do it..while FSA and Kurds would impose a buffer zone inside Rojava territory like they did in Afrin!…meanwhile Russia test air defense system vs Israel or How 70 israeli missile make an insignificant damage due the trusty air defense system!

antoun

khumeiny destroy and israel and usa totaly destroy uhuh

Terra Cotta Woolpuller

Israel has always been the Paper Tiger, US is even just as big a paper Tiger even they know they wouldn’t have any support to attack Russia and are neither stupid as Israel would like them to be.

Ace

This will come as a shock to you but managing these conflicts is complicated and the solution is not ALWAYS to press the buttons that say “Fire” or to shout “Charge!” The Syrian situation does not have to be solved tomorrow and waiting for U.S. stupidity to play out is a good strategy. Trump has already showed he is a liar on pulling out of Syria and Nikki Haley is guaranteed to make American policy seem even more ridiculous. The U.S. is only capable of short-term thinking. It charged off into Iraq and Afghanistan, and now Syria, with childish dreams of providing “leadership” to an adoring world and engaging in “nation building.” Some of our military officers even dress up like locals to make friends with local leaders. And these kinds of people are a long-term threat to anyone?

Israel is already cowed and its recent attacks were only partially successful. Its planes attack from Lebanese airspace mostly. The IAF trembles at the thought of Assad getting his hands on S-300s.

Syria and Russia need to focus on cleaning out Idlib, getting Turkey out of the NE, and asserting control over E. Syria. The U.S. already has proved that it will attack only unimportant targets.

Alexis Goldwasser

All in the name of oil and the greater israel project. Putin is powerless. Has been, always will be. He sure knows how to flex his muscles though, but its all smoke and mirrors

Terra Cotta Woolpuller

Wake up, Planet Earth calling they want their Hasbara nut job back!

Ace

You are a one-note ukulele, it seems.

Promitheas Apollonious

ISRASHIT must be hurting having all the below hasbaras, in one article posting. Is it true hasbaras now your payment come in pills and alcohol, not shekels?

velociraptor

Until today died more children in usa in school shootings than soldiers. Thus trump must elevate the mortality of american troops in the world. logical, that enhances the number of them.

Carol Davidek-Waller

Iraq is anything but a prosperous, democratic, pro US government.

Shahna

“The American military has established a 55-km. no-go zone around that facility.”
————-
I’m guessing kalibrs fired from the Caspian Sea would have no truck with that no-go crap.

delbertino

israel and us are fading from existence; goodby satanic animals of the pope; GOD BLESS TALIBAN HOUTHIS SAA AND HEZBOLLAH AND ALL THOSE OPPOSING US BASTARDS; TALIBAN WILL TAKE DOWN GEN NICHOLSON HELICOPTER SOON

delbertino

GOD IS GATHERING ALL NATIONS AGAINST ISRAEL; AMERICA IS THIRD WORLD YARDSALE ON FIRE; US MILITARY ARE RABID DOGS TO BE PUT DOWN

delbertino

IMAGINE AMERICA WITH NO FOOD OR WATER; IMAGINE USAF THAT CANT FLY OR US NAVY THAT IS PARALYZED ELECTRONICALLY; AMERICA IS ISIS TO BE SLAUGHTERED; US TROOPS ARE TERRORISTS TO BE KILLED SOON

delbertino

AMERICA FACES FAMINE THIS YEAR; AMERICA WILL NEVER WIN AGAIN; GOD HATES AMERICANS AND ISRAEL; AMERICA WILL BE DESTROYED BY GOD AS THEY KILL FOR THE POPE; ISRAEL SOON TO BE SURROUNDED AND SLAUGHTERED

delbertino

GOD EMPLOYS CHINA AND RUSSIA TO DESTROY AMERICA;

FILTHY MURDERING US MILITARY WILL DIE EVERY ONE

delbertino

IRON DOME F-35 US NAVY DESTROYERS ARE JUNK; AMERICA IS FINISHED

delbertino

GOD BLESSING TALIBAN AGAINST US MILITARY BASTARDS

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