On June 14, US forces held a live-fire exercise with heavy artillery at a base located within al-Omar oil fields in Syria’s northeastern region.
Soldiers from the US Army 156th Infantry Regiment and 141st Field Artillery Regiment took part in the artillery exercise. According to the US Central Command, the troops trained on the M777 155 mm towed howitzer.
U.S. Army #Soldiers assigned to the C/2-156th Infantry, 2nd Plt Charlie Battery/ 1-141 FA conduct crew training on a M777 Howitzer in #Syria, June 14, 2021 @CJTFOIR @usarmycentral pic.twitter.com/yfTeJRADSw
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) June 16, 2021
Last year, the US Army deployed a number of M777 howitzers in northeastern Syria to support its allies in the Syrian Democratic Forces. The howitzer has an effective firing range of up to 40 km and can fire GPS-guided munitions and white phosphorus shells.
A similar exercise was held in al-Omar oil fields more than a year ago. The fields are the largest and richest in Syria. The US maintains a large base there.
Earlier this year, the US-led coalition denied deploying more troops or establishing new bases in northeastern Syria. However, recent developments suggest otherwise. On June 17 alone, a convoy of 55 trucks carrying supplies and equipment for US troops entered the region.
The ongoing military buildup in northeastern Syria indicates that the US is not planning to leave the region anytime soon. Washington claims that its troops are present there to combat ISIS remnants and to “guard” the oil.
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