On August 17, spokesperson for the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Talal Silo, claimed that the US is planning to stay in Syria for decades after beating ISIS.
“They have a strategy policy for decades to come. There will be military, economic and political agreements in the long term between the leadership of the northern areas –of Syria – and the US administration,” Silo said.
US-led collation spokesperson Colonel Ryan Dillon also said that there is a lot of fighting when he was answering a question from Reuters about the US long term strategy in Syria.
“Still a lot of fighting to do, even after ISIS has been defeated in Raqqa,” Dillon said.
Spokesperson for the Pentagon , Eric Pahon, answered to the similar question next way:
“The Department of Defense does not discuss timelines for future operations. However we remain committed to the destruction of ISIS and preventing its return.”
The US-led collation has 7 bases in the SDF-held area in northern Syria. However, many believe that it will be hard for the USA to legislate its military presence in Syria after ISIS is defeated.
In another development, the Turkish Army shelled Afrin town in the northern Aleppo countryside with mortars after a Turkish soldier was killed by militiamen of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Hatay Province south of Turkey. Local sources in Afrin didn’t report any civilian casualties during the shelling, only material loses.
Turkish media claim that the Afrin area has become a heartland for the PKK militiamen lately. Moreover, many Turkish and pro-opposition Syrian sources claimed that Turkey is preparing to launch an operation with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) against the PKK in Afrin, inside Syria soon.
Turkish authorities announced on August 17 that it captured two AT-4 Anti-tank weapons from PKK militiamen in the southern part of Turkey. Many reports suggested that these weapons were supplied to the SDF by the US-led collation before the SDF had handed them over to the PKK.
The AT-4 case is one of many reasons that may make long-term US deployment in Syria rejected even by some US strategic allies in the region.