On May 20, Syrian Arab Army (SAA) troops intercepted a convoy of U.S. forces near the town of Tell Tamr in the northern al-Hasakah countryside.
According to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), service members manning a checkpoint on the entrance of Umm al-Khair prevented the convoy from entering the town. U.S. forces were eventually forced to retreat.
U.S. forces faced several several similar incidents in northern al-Hasakah over the last few months. In most cases pro-government civilians or SAA personnel were responsible. However, on May 2 Russian forces directly intercepted a U.S. convoy east of the border city of al-Qamishli.
These incidents have limited the movement of U.S. forces in northern al-Hasakah. In response, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) began to arrest locals trying to prevent U.S. forces from entering their towns.
The U.S. influence in northeast Syria is now being challenged by Russia and the Damascus government. Washington, which abandoned its allies last year by allowing Turkey to invade the region, is desperately trying to solidify its military presence there.