By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has ramped up its proactive and defensive activities in northeast Syria to ward off increased provocations to the U.S force in the security zone patrolled by Army troops, Pentagon officials said.
Returning to the security zone are at least six Bradley Fighting Vehicles, along with Sentinel radar, officials said. The frequency of fighter patrols and “hunter-killer” drones overhead of the U.S ground force are being increased, officials said.
“These actions are a clear demonstration of U.S. resolve to defend Coalition forces in the ESSA, and to ensure that they are able to continue their Defeat-ISIS mission without interference,” Captain Bill Urban, a spokesperson for U.S. Central Command, said. “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 ESSA is the Eastern Syria Security Area, the formal name of the area of operations for U.S. troops. Daesh is the local name for ISIS.
Bradley vehicles were last in Syria in October 2019, working in concert with Syrian Democratic Forces to defeat ISIS ground remnants.The Bradleys are being relocated from deployment in Kuwait.
While protecting the anti-ISIS mission is the official reason for the augmentations, the backstory is how tension has increased in northeast Syria between rising aggressive Russian elements and Russian-backed Syrian forces.
On several occasions, Syrian troops prevented U.S. forces from entering multiple locations in the region. U.S. forces stationed in eastern Syria were attacked in mid-August, but there were no casualties.
Then on August 27, seven U.S. service members were injured in an altercation with a Russian military patrol. Three U.S. officials said Russian vehicles intentionally collided with the Americans. Then, several Russian helicopters flew over the scene. U.S. Central Command said the Russians “aggressively and recklessly pursued the coalition.”
(U.S. Army Reserve photo by Spc. DeAndre Pierce)