On April 16, the U.S.-led coalition conducted live-fire drills with heavy weapons in the eastern Syrian governorate of Deir Ezzor.
The Deir Ezzor Media Center, an outlet affiliated with the self-administration in the northeastern region, said the drills took place in the Omar oil fields and Jadeed Ekedat in Deir Ezzor’s southeastern countryside.
Several photos of the live-fire drills, which were held at night, show coalition forces firing M777 155 mm towed howitzers. The coalition deployed several howitzers of this type in northeast Syria last month.
A day after the drills, the U.S.-led coalition’s Political Directors held a virtual meeting, during which it reaffirmed its commitment to “fight ISIS and maintain unity of purpose and cohesiveness in Iraq and Syria.”
“The Political Directors agreed to maintain maximum pressure on Daesh/ISIS despite the several and multifaceted challenges, including those posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in order to achieve the enduring defeat of the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria, and to remain vigilant against the threat of Daesh/ ISIS around the world,” the statement, which was released on April 16, reads.
A recent report by the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) revealed that the U.S.-led coalition is working to strengthen its influence in northeast Syria.
The live-fire drills in Deir Ezzor were apparently meant to deter U.S. opponents in the northeast in order to solidify the coalition’s grip on the region.