Oil or the preservation of influence — the question is haunting Washington in northeast Syria?
The United States, feeling the taste of defeat in northeastern Syria, began to resort to a change in its aggressive strategy. They began to develop alternative plans to achieve at least a minimal part of their goals. If earlier the American presence in this region was limited to a small number of specialists, now military convoys equipped with a large number of specialized machinery and equipment have arrived there.
As soon as hostilities between Kurdish forces and terrorist groups ended in a number of Al Jazeera districts, the United States hastened to find other pretexts to ensure a military presence on Syrian soil. So, it became necessary for them to monitor IS fighters, many of whom are in prisons of the Syrian Democratic Forces, and to prevent their return.
As Donald Trump originally stated: “We are in Syria to protect oil fields from theft and attacks by the Islamic State, which can use them to finance their operations.” The result of the publication of this tweet was the transfer of a large number of US troops from bases in Iraq and the expansion of the zone of American occupation by increasing the number of military bases in Al Jazeera, thereby giving President Donald Trump a hint at a desire to get Syrian oil.
Today, after the collapse of the oil market and an overabundance of oil in the market, we must ask ourselves the main question: what do the United States want to achieve while maintaining its presence in the mentioned Syrian region?
The geographical position of Al-Jazeera, which shares borders with both Iraq and Turkey, is an extremely important factor contributing to the preservation of the American presence in the Middle East region, especially after the defeat of the United States in Iraq and the humiliating withdrawal of its armed forces from this country. Washington returned there with the support of terrorist groups.
To date, the United States is increasing the size of its contingent in At-Tanf, which is located in the Syrian-Jordanian-Iraqi triangle. In order to maintain the presence of terrorist groups among refugees, Washington uses Ar-Rukban camp as a cover, and it impedes efforts to return refugees.
The United States established control of At-Tanf and turned it into a base for its military to be able to compensate for the loss of territory in Iraq and areas taken under Turkish control. Thanks to the presence of US forces in At-Tanf, they are able to defend their key interests, the most important of which is to prevent the establishment of Assad Government forces over all Syrian territory. This is evidenced by the decision of the Americans to send thousands of trucks with weapons, ammunition and military equipment to Al-Hasaka province in order to consolidate their presence in Al-Jazeera.
It is likely that the expansion of the occupied territory in the Syrian region, in the struggle for influence with Russian and pro-Iranian forces, will be the trump card for Trump’s election campaign amid the fact that he failed to develop a successful strategy to curb the spread of coronavirus in his country. All this pushes the American president to adopt a new strategy, focusing on a military presence in Al Jazeera and further support for the Kurds. This may imply the formation of a local army operating in Washington’s interests.
However, against the backdrop of the determination of the Syrian state and its allies to liberate all Syrian land and restore sovereignty throughout the Middle East, American plans will be strongly opposed by the peoples of Syria. Despite all the monetary temptations, growing popular resistance and the refusal to support American forces by local tribes, this is just one example of such determination.