After days of clashes between US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria’s north east, a US general says that he is expecting further clashes as US re-enforcements allegedly move into the country.
The US Biden administration may well be considering further offensive action against the Syrian government through its proxy forces, despite claiming to have learned its lessons from doing just this in the past.
This Friday, armed clashes resumed between the Syrian government’s NDF (National Defence Forces) and the US-backed SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) in Qimishli, north eastern Syria. After significant clashes had broken out this Tuesday, Russia had quickly stepped in to facilitate a ceasefire, although the truce has not held, and now the United States is looking to intervene to supposedly find a solution.
Basman Al-Assaf, head of the Kurdish ‘United Syria Association’ said that “Even if the Russia-brokered ceasefire materializes between the two sides, we cannot deem it a lasting agreement. This is merely a truce, not a lasting solution,” however Al-Assaf did not provide any alternative solutions.
Later this Friday evening, Russia again was the one to step in and facilitate discussions between the Kurdish SDF and Syrian NDF, without the presence of the US, despite claims that it would be the US at the forefront of peacemaking.
What is perhaps most concerning is that following US forces having come under attack in north eastern Syria in the past weeks, as well as the ongoing clashes between Syrian and Kurdish occupying forces, the US has been transferring weapons into the territory. The latest transfer of US munitions into north eastern Syria came on Monday, according to local sources, bringing 24 trucks full of weapons illegally over the Iraq-Syria border to its base in Ash Shaddadi.
On Thursday, commenting on the recent tensions between the US’s occupying proxy forces [SDF] and Syrian forces, US Central Command (CENTCOM) Commander General Kenneth McKenzie stated that he is watching the situation and that so far they’ve been able to “hold the line”. “We do recognise potentially Syrian pro-regime forces might want to push particularly against the oil fields that our SDF partners operate that do provide a source of income for them,” Gen. McKenzie went on to say.
What is revealing about General McKenzie’s statement addressing this issue, is that he did not refer to tensions taking place in the northern city of Qimishli, but instead focused on the issue of a potential battle to the south, in the Deir Ezzor region. The al-Omar oil fields, currently illegally held by the US-backed SDF, work as a chokehold on the dormant Syrian economy.
The US Kurdish proxy forces, according to Syria’s oil minister, occupy 90% of the country’s oil resources and also most of Syria’s fertile agricultural land. The United States may have gotten wind of the idea that an offensive might be carried out to recapture Syria’s oil resources, and if this is the most pressing issue for the US, this may be preempted with their own offensive measures against Syrian government allied forces.
Also just reported by Al-Mayadeen news, was a second major weapons transfer to the US proxy force occupying al-Tanf region in Syria’s south. For years now, the US has held a no fly zone over the area and struck any forces that steer close. The groups operating in al-Tanf, are generally described as no more than US paid mercenaries.
The US claims that its mission in both Iraq and Syria is to combat ISIS, which has just so conveniently begun to grow as of late in small pockets of Syria’s vast desert region. Either the reinforcements sent to al-Tanf could indicate that the US is anticipating a resurgence of Daesh activity, are preparing to strike Daesh, or are perhaps preparing for an escalation against Syrian forces.
The following is purely speculation at this point, but is nonetheless worthwhile to consider; If the recent explosion in Israel – near its nuclear site – was in fact an attack and the many reported attacks on US and Israeli forces in the region are being coordinated by Iran, the US response may be to attack and undermine Syria as a response. The Syrian Presidential elections are also just around the corner and now may be a prime time to attempt to sow discord throughout the country. If a US proxy-led offensive in Syria is to once again take place, it is likely that this plays a very important role in the accomplishment of their wider goals of undermining Iran and its alliances.