The formation of a new, local and sizable resistance force to challenge the U.S. will likely undermine the U.S. government’s claims that its occupying presence in Syria is supported by local communities in Northeastern Syria.
ALEPPO, SYRIA – On Saturday, over seventy tribal leaders from the regions of Aleppo, al-Raqqa and al-Hasakah met in the Syrian government-controlled city of Deir Hafer near Aleppo at a summit titled “Syrian tribes against foreign intervention and the American presence on Syrian soil.” According to reports, the tribal leaders – whose territory is either partially or entirely under occupation by the United States and its proxy military, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – gathered to express their commitment to rejoining the Syrian state, re-establishing Syrian territorial integrity, and creating a joint military force to expel foreign troops and militants from Syria. Currently, the U.S. and the SDF occupy over 30 percent of all Syrian territory, including the majority of its oil, gas, agricultural, and fresh-water resources.
The formation of a new military force is likely to be the most significant development to have come from the recent meeting, as tribal leaders announced plans to fight alongside the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in an effort to retake the occupied territories. According to a Syrian military source cited by Al-Masdar, the militia plans to directly target the SDF and the United States forces that currently occupy much of Northeastern Syria. Given the size of the tribes, this resistance force could present a real threat to the U.S.’ ongoing occupation of Northeastern Syria, especially if they are joined by the SAA.
In addition, this newly formed force backed by regional tribal leaders will likely be joined by several resistance groups that have sprung up to challenge the U.S. occupation over the last year. As MintPress recently reported, various resistance militias targeting the SDF and U.S. military have emerged since the year began.
For instance, the pro-Syrian government Popular Resistance of Raqqa (PRoR), was formed in February in the city of Raqqa and has since attacked U.S. military assets — including a U.S.-occupied Syrian military base near Raqqa, which the group shelled in early April. Local media reports on recent bombings targeting the U.S. military in the al-Hasakah region have also suggested that resistance groups were responsible.
The formation of a new, local and sizable resistance force to challenge the U.S. will likely undermine the U.S. government’s claims that its occupying presence in Syria is supported by local communities in Northeastern Syria. However, it is also possible that the U.S. may label any offensives launched by the groups as the work of terrorist groups, like Daesh (ISIS), which has long been the official justification for the U.S.’ military presence in the region.
However, this justification has long held little water, given that the U.S. has re-trained Daesh fighters and incorporated them into the SDF. In addition, the U.S. is currently seeking to develop an “Arab force” of Saudi and UAE soldiers to occupy the area in the U.S.’ stead – even though both of those countries have long funded Daesh and other terror groups.
As MintPress has reported at length, the U.S.’ real motives for occupying Syria are related to its long-standing geopolitical goal of partitioning the country, weakening the Middle East’s “resistance axis,” and removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power — while also gaining access to the country’s fossil fuel resources.
Removing the U.S. and its proxies from Syrian soil
The recent meeting of regional tribal leaders also comes soon after Assad, in an English-language interview with Russia Today released last week, asserted that the U.S. would soon be forced out of Syria. Assad stated:
The United States is losing its cards. The main card was Al-Nusra, that was called ‘moderate,’ but when scandals started leaking that they’re not moderate — that they’re Al-Qaeda, which is supposed to be fought by the United States — they started looking for another card. This card is the SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces] now.”
He added that, once Daesh and Al-Nusra were eliminated as threats, that the Syrian military would then target the SDF.
Assad announced that his government had already “started opening doors for negotiations — because the majority of them [SDF fighters] are Syrians. And supposedly they like their country, they don’t like being puppets to any foreigners – that’s what we suppose.” Yet, if negotiations failed, Assad asserted that he would liberate the areas controlled by the SDF “with the Americans, or without the Americans.”
With local leaders already starting to directly challenge the presence of the SDF and the U.S. military in the region, the U.S.’ ability to continue its occupation of Syria will soon come under threat. However — given that the U.S. has spent around $13 million a day since 2014 in its efforts to partition both Iraq and Syria, and recently committed $550 million to fund and arm the SDF over the next year — it seems unlikely that the U.S. will go quietly.