US military bolstering troop numbers in Syrian oil field, officials say


“We will chase them wherever they flee. … if the terrorist organisation continues attacks from inside or outdoors the 30-kilometer line,” Erdogan added.

The 150-hour ceasefire is to finish on Tuesday evening.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on Saturday.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on Saturday.Credit:AP

The US troops have begun arriving in Deir al-Zour province in a convoy from northern Iraq. The defence officials, speaking on situation of anonymity due to the fact of the sensitivity of the problem, stated the forces will reinforce American troops in coordination with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, who have teamed with the Pentagon on operations against the Islamic State for years.

The more forces will aid “avoid the oil fields from falling back into the hands of ISIS or other destabilising actors,” one particular US defence official stated.

“We will not talk about specifics or timelines of these forces for safety factors,” the official added.


News photographers in the area captured pictures displaying a convoy of about a dozen army cars rolling previous oil pumps close to the Syrian city of Qamishli, lots of with American flags flying on them. The majority of the cars have been mine-resistant armoured cars, with a couple of civilian trucks mixed in. No tanks or Bradley Fighting Cars seem to have moved into Syria, although US officials have stated they are thinking about each choices in the coming days.

The oil-field protection strategy calls for a number of hundreds US troops to return to Syria but “significantly less than a battalion,” US officials stated. A battalion in most US units numbers 800 to 1000 troops.

The convoy Saturday is the most recent move in a whirlwind month for the Pentagon in Syria that started with Turkey telling the United States that it would launch an offensive against Kurdish components of northern Syria. The White Home announced October six that it would not stand in the way in spite of years of the Pentagon partnering with Syrian Kurds on operations against the Islamic State.

Trump decided October 13 to withdraw practically all 1000 troops from northern Syria, as the SDF reached an agreement with the Syrian regime for protection. US forces swiftly withdrew from a number of bases afterward, leaving behind some gear and even utilizing F-15 jets to bomb one particular of their former headquarters to render it unusable by anybody else.

But Trump was persuaded to move some US troops back into a section of eastern Syria stretching from Hasakah south to Deir al-Zour, farther from the border with Turkey. US officials have stated that the new mission about the oil fields there will avoid the Islamic State from capturing them but also let the Pentagon to continue carrying out counter-terrorism operations on the militant group and keep manage of the airspace overhead.

The US presence also will make it extra hard for the Syrian regime or Russian forces aligned with them from seizing the oil fields.

In Moscow, Russia’s Defence Ministry denounced the US troop movements into eastern Syria on Saturday. Earlier this week, Russia added about 300 military police to its contingent in northern Syria to aid patrol a area along the Turkish border.


“What Washington is performing now, the seizure and manage of oil fields in eastern Syria beneath its armed manage, is, very just, international state banditry,” stated Defence Ministry spokesman, Important Basic Igor Konashenkov, according to media reports.

Turkey will relocate some of the three.six million Syrians it hosts to the border towns of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain it seized through the offensive, Erdogan stated. That territory is 100 kilometers lengthy.

Erdogan’s lengthy-stated aim has been to relocate as lots of as two million Syrians in 444 kilometers of Turkey’s frontier with Syria, with the aid of Western allies.

He reiterated on Saturday his threat to “open border gates” to Europe for Syrian refugees unless Ankara gets adequate economic assistance to manage the refugee burden.

The Washington Post, DPA

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