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JULY 2020

Pentagon Confirms: Tanks & Additional US Forces To Deploy At Syrian Oil Fields

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Originally appeared ZeroHedge

Less than 30 minutes after President Trump tweeted early Friday, “Our soldiers have left and are leaving Syria for other places, then…COMING HOME!” — Defense Secretary Mark Esper confirmed prior reports that the Pentagon will indeed leave behind a small military presence to include “mechanized forces” at “the oil fields”.

As we reported yesterday per a WSJ report, the plan is likely to include some 500 troops stationed at the major oil fields east of the Euphrates, and sending dozens of battle tanks and other equipment to protect them. So perhaps merely some troops are actually coming home, while the tanks are moving in.

To be expected, the justification Esper gave is focused on the perpetual “threat” of a reconstituted Islamic State. “We are now taking some actions… to strengthen our position at Deir al zor, to ensure that we can deny ISIS access to the oil fields,” Esper told reporters at a briefing. “We are reinforcing that position, it will include some mechanized forces,” Esper said. Like Osama bin Laden after 9/11, ISIS is the bogeyman that keeps on giving, conveniently used as an excuse for the Pentagon to never leave the region, apparently.

Pentagon Confirms: Tanks & Additional US Forces To Deploy At Syrian Oil Fields

US mechanized unit, Army file image.

Trump is clearly bending to the demands of his generals, who not only want to leave the Syrian Kurds a major bargaining chip to play in dealing with Assad, but continued control over Syria’s domestic energy resources can be used by Washington as potential leverage in future negotiations over Syria.

It’s also perhaps to deflect the growing mainstream media and Democratic criticism (along with some key Republican allies) that Trump has supposedly “handed the Middle East to Russia”. It further fits with Trump’s Thursday tweet, declaring:

“We will NEVER let a reconstituted ISIS have those fields!”

Like with prior declarations of Trump expressing desire to leave Syria in past years, notably in early 2018, the immediate fierce bipartisan backlash in both Congress and the media (not to mention the ‘deep state’) typically results in a slow walk back of the policy, eventually to the point that nothing actually changes regarding Syria.

Pentagon Confirms: Tanks & Additional US Forces To Deploy At Syrian Oil Fields

Of this latest backlash and Trump’s “softening” the original withdrawal plans, Reuters describes:

Trump has been softening his pullout plans for Syria after a backlash from Congress, including among key Republicans, who say he enabled a long-threatened Turkish incursion against Kurdish forces in Syria who had been America’s top allies in the battle against Islamic State.

And yet all of this is happening as Russia is actually bolstering its forces in Syria, specifically sending about 300 new military police to the northeast, taking over areas which had a prior US special forces presence.

Early this week Kremlin officials condemned looming US plans to ‘secure’ the oil fields, saying Syria’s natural resources belong only to the legitimate government in Damascus.

So again it appears that after all of the hype, and constant statements of “we’re bringing the troops home” — we are left with a few hundred US troops shifted to western Iraq, and tanks going in.

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  • RichardD

    The Iraqis are a big problem that needs to be corrected. They shouldn’t be fueling the US aggression against Syria like they are and have been for the entire war. At least the Turks are trying to get the problem corrected while the Iraqis keep sticking the knife in Syria’s back.

  • World Wisdom

    It is a pure invasion! US is the only threat to our Planet. All people shall fight against the US!

  • StafJustice

    Yes! I can see a dark cloud of a major war gathering in the ME. The actors are gearing up to the showdown..
    The Americans are shifting to Der ezzor together with their proxies, aka Kurds against the Iranian and Iranian backed positions…
    The SAA will be tricked to deploy more on the Kurdish areas along the bother with Turkey, thus thinning the SAA to back the Iranians in case they’re attacked.
    Hezbollah is facing trouble and instability in Lebanon and the situation is no different in Iraq.
    The axis of resistance is in a difficult position as we speak….
    Russia can easily back stab Iran in the name of a deal….
    I hope to be wrong about the Russians…
    But that is how I see it..

    • grumpy_carpenter

      If you have been following the statements coming out of Russia since the beginning of their operations in Syria you would find they have been clear and consistent about their objectives in the Syria.
      1. To insure that the 25,000 Russian citizens fighting illegally in Syria don’t return home alive or are free.
      2. To insure Islamic terrorism isn’t exported to Central Asian countries in Russia’s near abroad.
      3. To stabilize and restore the legal government Syria so it doesn’t fall into the hands of terrorists and spread to contagion to Russia or her near abroad.

      Putin has never said he’s especially fond of the Assad Regime only “If not Assad then who” meaning that Assad is the best of bad choices so Russia is supporting them.

      Russia has no treaties or alliances with any middle east country including Iran. Russia acts in Russia’s self interests. Western media and politicians make assumptions and spread propaganda about what Russia’s intentions are and who they are allied with but the Russians say differently.

      The objective of Russian forces in Syria is to liberate the country under control of the Assad government, not to create a platform for Iran to attack Israel or protect Iranian forces in Syria. In order to claim control of Eastern Syria the SAA has to have boots on the ground in Eastern Syria. That has to be the priority not protecting Iranians.

      • FlorianGeyer

        I think that Russia does wish to protect Iran, because Iran in the US orbit would present another front for Russia to defend against US aggression.

  • Pave Way IV

    See what happened? I stop being cynical about US intentions to leave Syria and figure everyone is right to celebrate – we must really be going. Then the Pentagon bitch-slaps me back to reality: we don’t have to obey the crazy orange man – that was back in grandpa’s United States. WE know what’s best for the US, Israel and the world today. We can’t tell you why because it’s classified. Just OBEY citizen. It’s not your job or the president’s to worry about these important things. And, um… there is no deep state. That’s a conspiracy theory.

    • Harry Smith

      Ha ha. Sounds like “men in black” after the flash. :)

    • John

      It doesn’t matter in the end I think. They lost all of their access farther north and resupply will be difficult, as they become more encircled with time in those fields. It won’t last forever. They may not even last until the election. This is Trump backpedaling to me, not the generals. He will fold like a bad hand soon. My take Pave. I wish you well.

  • Joao Alfaiate

    The objective of the USG has always been regime change in Syria as the gov’t there will not bow to israel and Uncle Sam. Now instead of securing the best possible bulwark against ISIS in Syria, a united and prosperous country, the US has decided to deprive the Syrians of the oil which rightly belongs to them. What a cruel country we have become! All for israel’s benefit!

  • Jose

    It is obvious what is going on. He tries to follow his conscience but is immediately threatened.
    He is even forced to name the deep state mafia gangsters to advise him.
    It was so from the beginning of his tenure in the White House; if it’s not because Russia helped him, it’s because he’s racist, sometimes because that or that, and now he either does what they want or impeachment throws him out of the White House.
    A rotten country ruled by thieves.
    We can’t expect anything better.

  • Saso Mange

    State sponsored thievery. Trump just made it 100% official with his dumb, Zionist poisoned world view.

  • Ivanus59

    Syria and Russia need to move quick to counter this criminality!

    • Ronald

      Box them in, seal the border.

  • FlorianGeyer

    “We will NEVER let a reconstituted ISIS have those fields!” Trump.

    But ISIS are retaking the oilfields, and this time ISIS are wearing US uniforms :)

    • grumpy_carpenter

      They didn’t seem too worried about ISIS trucking oil to Turkey in 2015. Until the Russians pointed this out in the media and started attacking the columns of trucks the USA simply ignored it. Now all of a sudden it’s so important they aren’t just occupying them but moving in an armoured force? The cost of supplying and maintaining a armoured force is exponentially higher than SOF so if they don’t intend to use it they why? Hopefully this is just dick wagging.

      • FlorianGeyer

        There must be a cunning US plan I suppose. Heavy armor will need a lot of logistical backup as well, and without infantry support the US armor would be sitting ducks.

        Perhaps the real aim is to capture the new border crossing with the excuse that the US needs this supply route?

        • Jens Holm

          I agree. Hard to see americans passing by Iranian or Assad border control by Abu Kamal and Qaim:)

          The next possible way south east of Hasaka and then down.

          I only see them as guards and now or telliing in a symbolivc and politic arritude, they still are in SDFs.

      • Jens Holm

        USA and we started long time before that right after Kobani or something. It was the oil and gas facilities which was bombarded hard and hard again and again.

        It must be censured by Your masters.

        True Russians did some very good jobs as the final nails destroying several 100 trucks.

        There are good maps even showing Year and date. Much as You dont know that.

  • klove and light

    Zionist plan…..
    NATO army in the North….

    NATO army in the south

    NATO army in the south-east

    and their jihadi proxies North-west………….

    and Maybe soon a chemical “attack” in Idlib ?????????

  • John Wallace

    So with support troops, maintenance staff that is what , 1000 men. 1000 out , 1000 in and the rest are coming/going home. Thanks for the troop reduction.

  • Veritas Vincit

    While Western bloc mainstream media parrot the absurd narrative of “protecting Syrian oil from ISIS”, they will not practice journalism by asking why then are the oil facilities not returned to the Syrian government that under international law has legal ownership of these facilities?

    A far more serious level of criminality is associated with operations involving US-Australian air support for terrorist groups:

    – “The Syrian intelligence possesses an audio recording of conversation between Daesh terrorists and US military prior to the Washington-led coalition’s airstrikes on the government troops near Deir ez-Zor on September 17, the speaker of the People’s Council of Syria said Monday. “The Syrian Army intercepted a conversation between the Americans and Daesh before the air raid on Deir ez-Zor”…..

    ……. US warplanes hit Syrian government troops near the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor on September 17, leaving 62 military personnel killed and a hundred wounded. The Pentagon said initially that the airstrike was a mistake and targeted Daesh militants. The head of the Syrian parliament added during her visit to Iran that after the coalition’s airstrikes on the government troops US military directed terrorists’ attack on the Syrian army.” (Damascus Has Audio of Daesh Talks With US Military Before Strike on Syrian Army, SputnikNews, 26/09/2016)

    – “The American report also acknowledged that U.S. Central Command headquarters in Qatar, which was responsible for the carrying out of the attack, had precise intelligence as to the exact location of the Syrian troops and their ISIS opposition… . At the time of the attack on 18 September, the RAAF [Royal Australian Air Force] was operating its E-7A Wedgetail aircraft above the battle. According to the RAAF’s own website, the E-7A provides Australia with ‘… one of the most advanced battle space management capabilities in the world.’ …. Given that the RAAF had the intelligence data as to the exact location of the respective forces on the ground – which as noted were long term fixed positions for the Syrian defences – and that they had sophisticated observation, analysis and transmission capabilities, why is it that the attack continued on the Syrian Army for over an hour?…..

    ……The suspicion that it was not a “mistake” but rather a deliberate attack on Syrian forces is reinforced by a number of other facts that have emerged….. The first piece of additional information is that, within seven minutes of the U.S.-led attack commencing, ISIS ground forces commenced a well-organised attack on the Syrian defensive positions that were severely compromised by the air attacks…..

    …..Deir ez-Zor is important for two other reasons. It is the centre of Syria’s largest oil and gas deposits. ISIS has been selling oil from captured sites in the area by transporting it over the border into Turkey…… Both the Americans and the Australians must have been aware of this cross-border trade through ground intelligence, satellites and the aforementioned E-7A’s capabilities. This trade has also been widely discussed in a number of Internet sites. Yet this traffic had continued unhindered by American or Australian air power for months. The second reason for Deir ez-Zor’s importance is that it lies on the route of the proposed Qatari gas pipeline to Europe. Replacing Europe’s reliance on Russian gas with Qatari gas is a major U.S. geopolitical goal ……

    ……. ISIS was and is an instrument of U.S. geopolitical policy in the same way the Mujahideen were used in Afghanistan in the 1970s and 1980s [Operation Cyclone], the MEK in Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and al Qaeda in its various manifestations in the Russian Caucasus, the “stans” around the Caspian Sea and in China’s Xinjiang province. Far from being a “mistake”, the Deir ez-Zor attack was simply another manifestation of the U.S. policy of perpetual war for perpetual profit. The tragedy for Australians is that they are forever the willing pawns.” (Syrian airstrike: More to the September 2016 ‘mistake’ than originally thought, By James O’Neill [Barrister at Law], 8 May 2017)

    Western bloc mainstream media have long ago abandoned concepts of journalism in preference to the employment of propaganda. By acting as the perception management apparatus of Western bloc powers and by presenting (false) narratives supporting what are in fact Western bloc violations of international law (crimes), they are in this process facilitator of the crimes of the Western bloc.

    • FlorianGeyer

      And the US duplicity continues .

    • Jens Holm

      Nothing about it is blocked here. It must be Your Goverment doing it.

  • Jens Holm

    Very bas supply lines for anything permanent like that.

    • PZIVJ

      Yes, very bad supply lines. I was looking at that.
      Maybe cross the Euphrates river bridge east of Al Qaim, go up the Iraqi border road, and cut across west to the oilfields on an improvised road. The road just north of the river could not be called a secure supply route.

  • MeMad Max

    Its easy really:
    Surround and cutoff the illegally deployed US troops until they go home.
    Nothing goes in, or out, until our troops come home.
    GG, the end…

  • Drinas

    Russia-along with Syria unfortunately-paying the price of its idiocy in allowing the US to move in on Syria in 2015. Again the Kremlin’s “oh, let’s work together to defeat ISIS” pathetic policies bare fruit.

  • John

    Whatever stupids.

  • verner

    the great unhinged states of A can’t really believe it can hold on to the ‘oilfields’ but in the war that is going on between trump and pentagon/cia/others even small victories are victories and the mic/ds/fic are happy to put a spaniard in trump’s work and that is what is happening – no more. trump feels he should be the undisputed commander in chief and his intentions is to regain all powers that will make him the undisputed commander in chief – it will take time but he’ll get there. the mic/ds/fic were given certain powers by previous dumbfuck presidents, like bush 2, like dumber than dumb obama or mr clueless, and these institutions now find it hard to give up those powers and are thus doing whatever it can to stop trump, one such thing was the russiagate and the other is the impeachment process. they won’t succeed.

    and trump will slowly and certainly regain the powers given away by some of his predecessors to the presidency, which I think might be a good thing since trump is by far more a dialogue person than outright war person. just think north korea and iran and take that as indications of what he thinks is a better way forward.

  • This demonstrates that American could stop voting, either the president is a puppet of deep state ( Obomber or his wannabe clone Killary ) or the deep state takes control.
    Trump has been great just to show this truth in plain sights.