A small Saudi military unit had entered the northeastern Syrian governorate of al-Hasakah, controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the al-Mayadeen TV reported on August 27.
The unit consists of 20 service members, and is reportedly led by a senior Saudi officer named “Saud al-Jaghifi.”
According to al-Mayadeen, a convoy of U.S.-led coalition forces, which has recently withdrawn from Camp Taji in Iraq, moved the Saudi unit from Iraq to a base in al-Shaddadi in the southern al-Hasakah countryside.
A source familiar with the matter told RT that unit would not be deployed in al-Shaddadi, revealing that officers from the Kingdom had paid similar visits to northeast Syria in the past.
“They will leave the country,” the source said, adding: “It is not the first time that Saudi soldiers entered Syria, as they had previously entered it to communicate with some Arab tribes in the governorate of al-Hasakah.”
Saudi Arabia benefits from the close ties with Arab tribes in northeastern Syria, especially in al-Hasakah. These tribes, like Al Anazzah and Al Baggara, have serious presence in the Kingdom.
While the Saudi visit to Syria’s al-Hasakah is very unusual, it is not changing game for sure. The Kingdom is known to be a partner of the U.S.-led coalition as well as a backer of the Kurdish-led SDF and Arab tribes in northeastern Syria.