US plans to send tanks to Syria oil fields, reversing Trump troop withdrawal – reports
Various US media outlets are reporting that Washington may soon send tanks and other heavy military hardware to northeastern Syria in order to protect oil fields in the region against attacks from Islamic State fighters and other militant groups. Analysts say the move could effectively reverse US President Trump’s recent decision to withdraw troops from the region, because deploying, maintaining, supplying and protecting the armoured units may actually require more soldiers than were present before the pullout. Earlier this week, US defense chief Mark Esper already stated that the government was considering to keep some troops stationed in the region to protect oil fields.
In response to the US withdrawal earlier this month, Turkey invaded northeastern, claiming that it wanted to fight terrorism in the region and to create a “safe zone.” Russia and Turkey agreed on the establishment of such a zone earlier this week, which means that part of northeastern Syria will remain under the control of Turkish and Russian forces, while US-allied Kurdish troops have been forced to leave the region.