Sun 07 Jun 2020

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Anti-IS global coalition establishes for new return of its activity in north-east Syria

The anti-IS global coalition conducting military training in al-Tanf base in Syria (the Global Coalition for Operation Inherent Resolve Facebook page)

The anti-IS global coalition conducting military training in al-Tanf base in Syria (the Global Coalition for Operation Inherent Resolve Facebook page)

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The course of events in north-eastern Syria has been accelerating, where there are various forces on the ground. Still, the greatest activity seems pretty clear to the US-led global coalition to defeat the so-called Islamic State/IS.

The global coalition fighting IS has broken down its military operations since it decided to reposition its troops in October 2019. The coalition is, thus, preparing for a different return on the ground against the rise of the Russian role as a new power and the resumption of the IS group’s activities in the region.

Large-scale infusion of troops and weapons

Since the beginning of this year, the US military bases in north-eastern Syria have not subsided, receiving military equipment coming from Iraq, whether by land or by air, as previously monitored by Enab Baladi.

It is impossible to gauge the number of those military shipments as they arrive almost on a daily basis. Most prominent of which reached the al-Shaddadi base, south of al-Hasakeh on 7 May of this year, It included about 50 trucks containing military vehicles and logistical and engineering assistance, according to the Facebook page of the Raqqa campaign⁠—codenamed Operation Wrath of the Euphrates, which was a military operation launched in August 2018 against the “Islamic State.”

Days earlier, a huge convoy of tens of trucks loaded with ammunition, and weapons, reached Qasrok military base, 20 km (12.4 miles) east of Tell Tamer in rural al-Hasakeh.

The convoy, which was made up of about 30 large trucks, came from the international coalition military base of al-Shaddadi in rural al-Hasakeh.

Military reinforcements are not exclusively sent through the land, as global coalition planes carried out in early April, an airdrop of logistical and military supplies to their bases in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor.

Back then, activists posted a video showing that a military plane unloaded its cargo through airdrops near al-Omar oil field in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor.

Meanwhile, dozens of trucks entered north-eastern Syria, coming from the Kurdistan region of Iraq, carrying logistical equipment, military vehicles, and ammunition, as they unloaded their cargo in the military bases of Qasrok and al-Shaddadi in al-Hasakeh. 

On 11 March, the global coalition forces brought to their base in al-Omar oil field, long-range artillery weapons. 

The official website of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said, then, that the purpose of these reinforcements, consisting of heavy artillery weapons, is to protect military bases and support joint operations with the SDF in fighting the so-called IS.

Expanding military bases

One of the indications of an increase in the military activity of the global coalition forces in Syria is the expansion of some US military bases in the provinces of al-Hasakeh and Deir Ezzorr. New military equipment was brought. A military expansion into al-Omar oil field in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor has taken place recently, according to “the Kurdish autonomous administration” linked -DeirEzzor Media Center (DMC). 

The DMC pointed out that dozens of trucks loaded with ammunition, weapons, and logistical materials arrived at the end of last April and the beginning of the current May, in addition to tens of helicopters flew there, at a time when the coalition brought about a thousand elements of the US, British and French forces.

The US considers that one of the tremendous gains it achieved in its war against the self-declared IS  was the control of the oil fields in eastern Syria, which were the major revenue maker for IS.

The US forces expanded one of their bases in rural al-Hasakeh, and photos released by the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) showed that the US forces carried out expansion activities at the base of the Istrahat Wazir.

On 3 February,  the US forces began building a new military base in rural al-Hasakeh.

The US forces chose the village of Tell Brak, 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) from the city of al-Hasakeh, and about a week before construction began, the US  forces moved from Iraq to Tell Brak construction machinery and equipment through the al-Waleed border crossing.

According to a report by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency, the US forces are seeking to cut the road for the Russian soldiers to one of the essential oil production centers in Syria, in the Rmelan oil field in the north-eastern countryside of al-Hasakeh. 

Security operations and statements 

In recent months, the global coalition reported that it carried out several security operations with the participation of “SDF” in the countryside of Deir Ezzor, against the IS cells. 

The Commanding General of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, Lieutenant General Pat White, said that the US plans for northern and eastern Syria have not changed, as the coalition continues to support the SDF  and provide it with intelligence, military, and air support as needed and what this stage requires.

On 8 May of this year, General White stated that the US is committed to assisting the SDF Special Forces in protecting the prisons in which IS prisoners are held.

On 7 May, the international coalition said that it conducted with the SDF a successful security operation in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor.

The US-led anti-IS coalition spokesperson, Colonel Myles Caggins, tweeted that the SDF detained one IS mid-level fighter in that operation.

On 6 May, the SDF, with the support of the global coalition, carried out a security campaign in the village of al-Zir in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, in which five planes and land forces took part. Clashes took place, where elements, believed to be from the IS cells, bombed themselves.

After the operation, there was talk of the arrest of the new leader of the IS, Abdullah Qardash.

The Media Center of al-Raqqa, affiliated with the Kurdish-led autonomous administration, said that the operation was intended to target Qardash, to be ended with his arrest, but the US has not officially announced this yet.

In early May, the SDF media office said that the SDF, with air cover from the international coalition, arrested a “terrorist” cell consisting of three people in Hajin town in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor.

This operation occurred two days after the autonomous administration-linked accounts published news about the arrest of the IS coordination and movements officer in Deir Ezzor.

The media office pointed out that the operation took place with the support of the international coalition forces in the town of Jadeed Ekedat in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor.

Recently, the IS group has reinforced its operations in the province of Deir Ezzor, targeting the administrative officials of the “autonomous administration” and the military members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, after it was carrying out almost daily operations against the SDF elements.

 

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