Behind the Curtain: The Transfer of American Troops From Iraq to Syria

Author: E.Hasani
Thursday, 4 March 2021 - 10:30

In recent weeks, we have witnessed the transfer of US troops and equipment from Iraq to Syria. However, transfers between the two countries over the past year through illegal crossings was a recurring phenomenon but what happened to the US military in Iraq and the activities of terrorist groups in Syria will reveal the reason for these transfers.

Most of US military convoys pass through the illegal Al-Waleed crossing in northwestern Iraq near the Syrian border. The American forces mainly establish their bases in Deir Ezzor and Hasakah which we will mention the reasons in the following. The Al-Omar oil fields, Ain Diwar area and the Qamishli oil fields in al-Hasakah province are also among the most important areas where US troops have entered and established bases in recent weeks.

Leaving Iraq is the only way to stay safe

After Iraqi parliament passed a resolution to expel US troops from Iraq, some Iraqi factions considered diplomatic talks with the United States to be the key to the US withdrawal from Iraq. This delayed the withdrawal of the US troops and this solution was not effective.
But on the other hand, Iraqi Islamic resistance groups, which did not see the diplomatic talks and political solution as a fruitful way, said that if the American troops did not gather their bases on time and leave Iraq, they would face the military option of resistance. So, a few months after the US military did not withdraw, small and large groups announced their intention to attack US military convoys and bases in Iraq, posting videos of the attacks on social media and showed their seriousness.

IED attacks on US military logistical convoys in Babil, Diwaniyah, Hillah, al-Lahis in Basra, Baghdad’s Yusufiyah district, Samawah, mortar attack on US Victory base in Baghdad, attack on the US base in al-Harir and rocket attacks on US military base in Erbil Airport and Ain al-Asad Airbase, etc. are some of the surprise attacks by newly formed resistance groups such as Saraya Oliya al-Dam, Qasim al-Jabbarin group, Ashab al-Khaf, etc. against the United States in Iraq.

Regarding the attack on Erbil Airport by the Saraya Oliya al-Dam group, the BBC reported that “Iraq is no longer safe for the Americans.” Evidence also shows that the US military is very vulnerable to this type of surprise attack, and that is why they have been warned about relocation on Iraqi roads by CENTCOM.
Therefore, the decision taken by the US military is the gradual withdrawal of its troops from Iraq and the transfer to Syria in order to avoid these attacks. This means that the resistance approach to targeting American interests in Iraq and the military option has been effective and responsive, and the political solution and consultation with the Americans will go nowhere. Because one of the most important reasons is the lack of determination of the Iraqi central government to end the presence of the American occupiers in this country.

Entering Syria is the only way to survive in the region

After CENTCOM put the gradual withdrawal of troops from Iraq on the agenda, entering Syria to maintain US bases in the region, countering Turkish influence in northern Syria and reviving ISIS in the south are major reasons why the US is so eager to increase its presence in Syria.

The US military is importing logistics and military equipment through the illegal al-Waleed crossing in northwestern Iraq, as well as another crossing of the same name in southeastern Syria near the Jordanian border. The oil-rich areas of eastern Syria in Hasakah and Deir Ezzor are among the areas the United States is keen to visit because of the smuggling of Syrian oil, as well as its support for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which opposes Bashar al-Assad government.

In recent months, numerous convoys of oil tankers looting Syrian oil have been facilitated with the support of US forces.
Clashes between SDF and the Syrian Army, as well as clashes with ISIS continue in east of Syria, while the US support for SDF in eastern Syria and Turkish support for groups such as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham in northern Syria, turning Syria into a battlefield and it has become clear that the prolongation of the war will cause more serious damage to the Syrian government and it has already displaced hundreds of Syrian citizens.
Therefore, it is in America’s interest to continue the conflicts in these areas, and there is no real plan to end the disputes in this region.

Another reason for the US presence and strengthening of bases in the south is that with the problems of Bashar al-Assad’s government, such as the civil war and economic sanctions, and several years after the destruction of ISIS in Syria, this Takfiri group has found a good opportunity to regroup, rebuild their organization and revitalize. The Al-Tanf border area, a few kilometers from the al-Waleed crossing, is the location and gathering place of these terrorists, which is still supported by American forces, and some American equipment has been placed in this area. In addition, the transfer of Takfiri forces from the northeast to the south also raises the possibility of ISIS new activity in southern Syria, and it is necessary for the resistance to take a preemptive approach in this regard.

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