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The United States has deployed a Patriot defense battery to Syria’s northeast, at least according to the fairy tales told by Kurdish media. This deployment reportedly took place on February 24th in an entirely different reality, since the reports claiming so are entirely fake. Several Kurdish and opposition outlets claimed that the deployment of Patriot batteries is taking place in Alomar and Al-Shaddadi. There could even be more batteries. Reports also claim that the US is improving its capabilities in al-Hasakah and Deir Ezzor as well.
The claims of Patriot batteries in northeastern Syria are currently merely fake news, as any review of the photographs, even to casual observers on Twitter, reveals that they show an entirely different location. What is fact is that Washington is truly attempting to increase its presence and capability in Syria.
In another and more realistic report from state outlet SANA, the US sent “shoulder-launched missiles” to northeastern Syria. Two American military helicopters allegedly landed in al-Shaddadi and unloaded artillery shells and shoulder-launched missiles. Prior to this, the coalition built a new airstrip in the al-Omar oil fields in southeastern Deir Ezzor. And the base in al-Hasakah is really being built. These developments, however, aren’t as major as reports make them out to be.
Saudi Arabia, a staunch US ally, one which Washington has vowed to defend and assist, is losing two of its Patriot defense batteries.
The two units in Saudi Arabia were helping to protect the Kingdom’s oil fields, but will likely be replaced by Saudi Patriot batteries. Their effectiveness – or lack thereof – was proven back in 2019, when they failed to protect Aramco’s facilities. As such, even if they were to be relocated in Syria, their usefulness remains in doubt.
Still, the Kurds as US allies are hopeful that the patriot battery remains mighty and capable of protecting its positions as they are likely hoping that it would help protect them against the Turkish Armed Forces.
Washington, though, is focused on Iran, which, especially so far in 2021, it has largely failed to contain. Iran continues expanding its influence in key areas such as Syria, Iraq and Yemen. In Syria, after being subject to ISIS attacks, Tehran’s forces are building new positions in the southern Homs countryside to protect phosphate mines in the region from the ISIS cells responsible.
Empty claims may go around the world quickly, their effectiveness, however, is dubious at this point. The United States is attempting to increase its presence and capabilities in Syria, but so far it appears to be too little too late. Iran’s presence in Syria and influence in the entire region continue to grow despite containment efforts by Washington and its allies.