Despite President Donald Trump’s statement that the US should withdraw forces from Syria, his contry expands its military presence in the war-torn country.
On April 3, the Turkish state-run media outlet Anadolu Agency reported the US is setting up two bases in the area of Manbij, which is controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Anadolu claimed that the US is extending an observation post in the village of Dadat north of Manbij in order to build a base. Construction materials and heavy equipment units have reportedly been transported to the area.
The facility under construction is located 8 km from Sajur River, which is a contact line between the areas controlled by Turkish forces and the SDF. Another US base is reportedly under construction south of Dadat, 4 km from the river.
The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the core of the SDF, is considered by Ankara as a terrorist group. The Turkish leadership has even threatened SDF units in Manbij with a military operation if they don’t withdraw. This has caused notable tensions between the US and Turkey.
On April 2, CNN reported citing several US defense and administration officials that US military has been working on a plan to deploy dozens of additional troops to northern Syria. This plan goes in contrary to Trump’s last week remarks that the US would “be coming out of Syria like very soon.”