US steps up military presence in Syria

21 September 2020 (Last Updated September 21st, 2020 14:04)

The US has strengthened its military presence in Syria to ensure the safety of its troops in the country amid increasing tensions with Russia.

US steps up military presence in Syria
An M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Credit: Sgt Eric Garland.

The US has strengthened its military presence in Syria to ensure the safety of its troops in the country amid increasing tensions with Russia.

The deployment includes Sentinel radar and Bradley Fighting Vehicles to enhance the US forces in the Eastern Syria Security Area (ESSA).

Additionally, the US Central Command decided to increase the frequency of fighter patrols over US forces.

In a statement, US Central Command Spokesman Captain Bill Urban said: “These actions are a clear demonstration of US resolve to defend coalition forces in the ESSA, and to ensure that they are able to continue their Defeat-ISIS mission without interference.

“Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve re-postures elements in northeast Syria to ensure the protection of our forces and the continuation of the Defeat-Daesh mission.

“The Defense Department has previously deployed Bradleys to north-east Syria pursuant to these goals. The US does not seek conflict with any other nation in Syria, but will defend coalition forces if necessary.”

According to media sources, the reinforcement will add around 100 personnel to the US deployment in Syria, which includes around 500 troops.

This step comes as incidents between the US and Russian patrolling forces in Syria have increased this year.

Last month, the US alleged that a Russian armoured vehicle hit a US military car in north-eastern Syria triggering tensions between the two troops.

The incident injured seven US soldiers.

Later, Pentagon criticised Russian forces’ ‘aggressive behaviour’, while the Russian side condemned the US for breaching existing agreements.