US Sets up Seven Military Bases in Regions Controlled by Syrian Kurds
Commander of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) announced that the US Army has established seven military bases in regions controlled by the Kurds in Eastern Syria.
Siban Hamou was quoted as saying by al-Sharq al-Awsat that the US army has established six military airports and a base on the Eastern bank of the Euphrates River, adding that a modern large airport in Kobani (Ein al-Arab) is the most important one of them.
“The US has set up two airports in Hasaka, one airport in Qamishli, two airports in al-Malekiyeh (Dirik), and one more airport in Tal Abyadh at border with Turkey in addition to a military squad center in the town of Manbij in Northeastern Aleppo,” Hamou said.
Hamou went on to say that 1,300 forces of the US-led coalition are deployed in the airports and center.
Political advisor of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) Abu Yaqoub disclosed days ago that the US-led coalition was to set up a military base for militants in Southwestern Hasaka near the provincial border with Deir Ezzur.
Abu Yaqoub said that the coalition led by the US decided to establish a military base for the militants of al-Maqawir al-Thorah in al-Shadadi region, adding that the coalition’s move to relocate al-Maqawir to the new base was aimed at taking control over Deir Ezzur city.
He further said that al-Shadadi was near the oil wells in Deir Ezzur province.
Yaqoub went on to say that the US declared its readiness to transfer 100 al-Maqawi al-Thorah fighters to the new base along with their equipment.
In the meantime, the new base that would be the third, after the two bases of al-Tanf and al-Zakaf 70km away from each other, where al-Maqawir al-Thorah and coalition forces were present.
Two regional intelligence sources disclosed mid-June that the US military moved a new truck-mounted, long-range rocket launcher from Jordan to a US base in al-Tanf in Southeastern Homs, near the Iraqi and Jordanian borders, stepping up its presence in the area.
The sources said the (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems – HIMARS) had moved into the desert garrison, which saw a buildup in recent weeks as tensions escalate after the US-led coalition struck positions of the Syrian forces to prevent them advancing toward the al-Tanf base.
“They have arrived now in al-Tanf and they are a significant boost to the US military presence there,” one senior intelligence source said, without elaborating.
The HIMARS had already been deployed in Northern Syria with US-backed forces battling ISIL militants, he added.
The missile system’s deployment at al-Tanf would give US forces the ability to strike targets within its 300-kilometer range.
Moscow stressed that the United States’ military build-up in Southern Syria violates the norms of international law.
“This is an active US build-up of its military presence in the southern regions of sovereign Syria in violation of international law,” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters after the United States transferred two high mobility multiple-launch rocket systems from Jordan to the US special operations forces base at Al-Tanf.
As Washington increased its military movement across the country in recent months, a Syrian fighter jet engaged in operations against the ISIL in Raqqa was downed by the US-led coalition warplane mid June.
It was not the first time that the US-led intervention in Syria led to standoffs and violence against pro-government forces.
As Washington claims that it fights against the ISIL group, US warships fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from two warships in the Mediterranean Sea at the Shayrat airfield in Homs province on April 7, following a chemical weapons incident in Idlib province which the Western countries blamed on the Damascus government.
The Syrian government has fiercely denied using or even possessing chemical weapons since the country’s compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention was certified by international observers in 2013, as the world is still waiting for the US and its allies to provide any proof for its claims of Bashar al-Assad government involvement in the alleged chemical attack.
Also on May 18, the US-led coalition struck pro-Bashar Assad forces near al-Tanf in the area of an established de-confliction zone. The coalition air raids occurred near al-Tanf, where US’ and British special operations forces had been training militants near the border with Iraq and Jordan.
On June 6, the Pentagon announced the coalition conducted a new strike on pro-Syrian government forces as they entered the de-confliction zone with Russia and posed threat to its personnel. The force comprised of a tank, artillery, anti-aircraft weapons, armed technical vehicles and more than 60 soldiers. At least two Syrian servicemen were killed and more than 15 injured as a result of the attack.
On June 8, the US-led coalition bombed pro-Damascus forces near al-Tanf in the area of a de-confliction zone following an alleged attack by a combat drone resulting in no coalition forces’ casualties. This was the third attack by the coalition on Damascus’ allies in the area. The coalition targeted a drone and trucks with weapons.
Furthermore, on September 16, US-led coalition aircraft carried out four strikes against the Syrian Army near the Deir Ezzur airport, killing nearly 100 people.