On March 8, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and locals blocked a U.S. convoy that was attempting to conduct a patrol in the northern al-Hasakah countryside.
The convoy was reportedly about to enter the town of al-Kuzaliyah when it was confronted by a group of angry locals and Syrian service members. The locals attacked U.S. forces with stones, while the service members refused to open the road. This forced the convoy to retreat.
In another incident, locals in the town of Rmelan al-Basha in northeast al-Haskah attacked a U.S. convoy near the oil-rich area of Rmelan with stones.
The last few months witnessed several similar confrontations between U.S. forces and the locals in northeast Syria, especially in northern and northeast al-Hasakaah.
The most dangerous incident took place on February 12, when U.S. forces shot and killed a local who was protesting against the passage of one of their patrol in his town, Khribat Amu, in northern al-Hasakah. Back then, local gunmen responded by opening fire at the U.S. patrol. However, the Russian Military Police and the SAA quickly de-escalated the situation.
Around 500 U.S. service members are still stationed in northeast Syria. The troops are tasked with “guarding” key oil fields in the region and supposedly countering ISIS remnants. The US military presence is among the key sources of tensions in the region.
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