WASHINGTON (Dispatches) – The U.S. is deploying more military equipment and troops to oil-rich eastern Syria as it seeks to loot crude resources in the war-torn country.
Captain Bill Urban, spokesman for the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), said in a statement on Friday that the United States "has deployed Sentinel radar, increased the frequency of U.S. fighter patrols over U.S. forces, and deployed Bradley Fighting Vehicles to augment U.S. forces” in the area.
The movie comes amid increased tensions between Moscow and Washington. Without mentioning Russia, Urban said that the moves were meant "to help ensure the safety and security” of the U.S.-led military coalition purportedly formed to fight the Daesh terrorist group without thy Syrian government’s consent.
Meanwhile, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said in a press release on Friday that the U.S.-led coalition plans to deploy Bradley fighting vehicles to northeast Syria.
U.S. military officials told NBC News that the deployment is aimed at projecting a show of force to discourage Russian troops from crossing into territory controlled by the coalition. The report said six Bradley fighting vehicles and nearly 100 additional U.S. troops will be deployed to northeast Syria on a 90-day deployment.
A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the actions are "a clear signal to Russia and other parties” to avoid what he termed as "unprofessional, unsafe and provocative actions in northeast Syria.”
Senior U.S. officials have on occasions complained about Washington’s policies in Syria, arguing that the approaches of President Donald Trump’s administration have stuck American troops fighting a ‘forgotten war’ and guarding oil and gas resources there, while Russian troops are making advances and help the Damascus government recover after nearly a decade of militancy.
Malcolm Nance, a former U.S. Navy intelligence and counter-terrorism specialist, also compared the situation to another bloody quagmire for the Pentagon, and said the presence of U.S. troops on the Syrian soil is a political game with little payoff.
"A few special forces supported by artillery and armor units are very much akin to 2002 in Afghanistan. It is now a forgotten war,” Nance said.
Moreover, Russian and Syrian joint coordination committees on the repatriation of Syrian refugees have denounced the presence of U.S. troops on the Syrian soil, stating that such an illegal military deployment stokes new tensions in the Middle East.
The committees, in a statement released on September 3, cited the unlawful presence of U.S. troops and militants affiliated with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as one of the serious matters of concern in northeastern Syria, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported at the time.