New US military base in Syria – what is the US trying to do now?
Is the US really preparing to take on Russia, Syria and allies in military escalation?
There have recently been reports of the US establishing a “new military base” in Syria. This is correct but people should be aware there are already an estimated 24-28 existing bases in Syria clustered around the north-east and extending into central and eastern Syria. The following is a brief report by Syrian journalist and analyst Kevork Almassian of Syriana Analysis:
The smaller of these bases which are more like outposts are regularly repositioned depending on the Syrian or Russian military road maps in that area and any threats of Syrian allied Resistance attacks on US positions.
The new base is small, probably around 50-60 troops and will contain short range air-defence batteries, armoured vehicles and supplies. It has been located in the village of Swediyyah, 40km to the west of Raqqa, on the banks of the Euphrates close to the water pumping station and dam at Tabqa.
It has been reported by local sources that the Kurdish Separatist forces under control of the US and Israel ethnically cleansed the village of Swediyyah under the pretext of punishment for celebrating President Assad’s speech at the Arab League Summit in Jeddah.
This means the ‘SDF’ act as auxiliaries to the illegal US military occupation of the north-eastern territories of Syria just as the White Helmets have done for armed groups dominated by Al Qaeda in the north-west, Idlib. White Helmets were regularly sent ahead to force people out of their homes in order to provide accommodation for extremist armed gangs.
This is not the first time that the US has positioned forces in this area but with the recent Russian/Syrian troop build up near the city of Deir Ezzor and the reported arrival of Iranian weapons and equipment, it is clearly a strategic move by the US to defend its western flanks from attack.
The more sinister strategy is the potential for control over the water supply at the Tabqa dam which had already previously been controlled by ISIS and was bombed by the US as reported by the New York Times:
Near the height of the [alleged] war against the Islamic State in Syria, a sudden riot of explosions rocked the country’s largest dam, a towering, 18-story structure on the Euphrates River that held back a 25-mile-long reservoir above a valley where hundreds of thousands of people lived.
(..) members of a top secret U.S. Special Operations unit called Task Force 9 had struck the dam using some of the largest conventional bombs in the U.S. arsenal, including at least one BLU-109 bunker-buster bomb designed to destroy thick concrete structures, according to two former senior officials. And they had done it despite a military report warning not to bomb the dam, because the damage could cause a flood that might kill tens of thousands of civilians. [..]
Later, three workers who had rushed to the dam to prevent a disaster were killed in a different coalition airstrike, according to dam workers.
This war crime is particularly poignant as the US is currently crying “war crime” over the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam on the Dnieper River in Kherson Oblast, Ukraine on the 6th June 2023 – blamed on Russia without any evidence or investigation, of course. Many independent analysts have already pointed the finger of blame at Kiev following the ‘who benefits’ rule.
The following map shows the location of the new base in relation to the much larger US illegal military base at Al Tanf on the border with Jordan and Iraq. The grey shapes are potential ISIS cells embedded in the territory between the two bases – operating under control of the US and conducting regular attacks on civilians and Syrian military positions or equipment.
The gold circles in the north-east are the ISIS holding camps – basically a terrorist pool that the US dips into and maneuvers between Syria and Iraq to carry out isolated attacks on Iraqi and Syrian military and essential infrastructure. ( map is from Liveuamap which is known to be partisan towards the terrorist armed groups in Syria).
The US is clearly trying to position the new base in order to be able to receive supplies and weapons potentially from Al Tanf – there is a 55km exclusion zone established by the US around Al Tanf to provide protection for the armed groups, including ISIS, that are being trained in this zone.
It has been reported by Mid-East Discourse (and others) that HIMARS have been supplied to the armed groups under US control in the Syrian-free zone and live fire exercises are regularly conducted. I hope I don’t need to mention that this US base is illegally established on Syrian territory and the US is training a known terrorist entity to carry out attacks against Syrian civilians and military.
At least four HIMARS launchers are currently deployed at al-Tanf garrison. The system can fire GMLRS rockets, which have a range of 70 kilometers, as well as the MGM-140 ATACMS tactical ballistic missile that has a rage of up to 300 kilometers.
Around 200 US troops and some 300 MaT fighters are usually present at al-Tanf, which was established in 2016 to block a road linking the Syrian capital, Damascus, with the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
This means that the US military and the terrorist proxy forces have the capability to target Damascus from the Al Tanf-occupied Syrian territory. Recently there has been an uptick in Russian air-force activity around Al Tanf targeting terrorist bases and equipment, frustrating US operations in the area.
A SouthFront report in May alleges that sources in Iraq have informed them of US plans to extend the Ayn Al Assad airbase in Anbar, Iraq and to build a new military base in the same area.
‘The unnamed sources suggested that the U.S. wants to establish a presence in al-Anbar, which borders both Syria and Jordan, because it hosts some of Iraq’s richest oil and gas fields.’
However lets take a look at how this alleged new US base in Anbar might tie in with the new base in Syria:
So, with an expansion of the Ayn Al Assad airbase in Anbar, the establishment of a new Iraqi military base close to the already fortified Al Tanf base and the Rukban ‘refugee’ camp to the south of Al Tanf which is known to be a recruitment hub for terrorist armed groups and the road connections to the new Euphrates base we can see what the US is trying to achieve.
The US is well aware that Damascus’ and Russian patience is wearing thin with the US allied occupation of Syrian agricultural and energy resources. The recent Iran/Russia/Syria discussions with Turkiye’s President Erdogan and the potential of a deal being brokered to withdraw Turkish troops and terrorist proxies from Syrian territory does not bode well for an already isolated US military. Like Israel, the US military personnel are surrounded by hostile factions who are currently carrying out guerilla warfare against the US bases.
The recent Syrian/Russian military build-up signals an increase in pressure on the US occupation forces. With NATO forces (covert) and proxies sinking in the Ukraine quagmire does the US have the resolve to dig in further in Syria and to potentially confront Russia, Syria, Iran and allies on the ground and in the air? Does it even have the military hardware available to defend itself against attacks having poured weapons into Ukraine since February 2022.
Are US military personnel not aware they are not defending ‘national security’ as is so often the pretext for their illegal presence on sovereign nation territory? They know they are partnering with ISIS not fighting a “global war on terror” and they must know they are stealing Syrian resources including 80% of Syrian oil thus deepening the misery for millions of Syrians. If they endorse US foreign policy on this basis they are war criminals and it is entirely justified for Syrian allied forces to drive them out of Syrian territory by any means available.
The following is my recent report for UK Column News on the emergence of the new US base near the Euphrates: