The U.S. military is considering moving battle tanks into Eastern Syria, even after President Trump said he is ‘bringing our soldiers back home.’
Heavy armor would represent both a medium-term commitment and a substantial footprint due to the supply and support that must accompany it. The equipment would be used to protect oil fields that President Trump tweeted on Thursday must ‘NEVER’ be allowed into the hands of ISIS, the terror group the U.S. has been battling in Syrian and Iraq for years.
The tanks could be in position ‘relatively soon’ CNN reported. Newsweek reported on an Army plan to deploy 30 Abrams tanks, half an Army armored brigade. They would go to an area where U.S. troops hold strategic territory containing oil resources, in partnership with Syrian Democratic Forces.
President Trump tweeted about Syrian oil on Thursday, after delivering a White House speech Wednesday touting a cease fire that he said cut short armed conflict as Turkish forces attacked U.S.-allied Kurds.
The U.S. military may transport tanks to Syria to guard oil areas being held by U.S. and Kurdish forces
‘The war was going to be vicious and probably not very long,’ Trump said.
He tweeted Thursday: The Oil Fields discussed in my speech on Turkey/Kurds yesterday were held by ISIS until the United States took them over with the help of the Kurds. We will NEVER let a reconstituted ISIS have those fields!’
Trump has repeatedly said the U.S. has defeated ISIS and destroyed its proclaimed caliphate.
‘I really enjoyed my conversation with General @MazloumAbdi,’ he said of the top SDF general Mazloum Kobani Abdi. ‘He appreciates what we have done, and I appreciate what the Kurds have done. Perhaps it is time for the Kurds to start heading to the Oil Region!’
Keeping tanks in Syria would require other logistics support and supply lines
A US soldier stands in an armoured personnel carrier as the US forces pull out of their base in the Northern Syrian town of Tal Tamr, on October 20, 2019
A Syrian Arab man injured by an explosion while entering the town of Ras Al-Ain, during the ceasefire amidst the ongoing Turkish offensive against Kurdish-controlled areas of northeastern Syria, receives medical treatment at a hospital in nearby Tal Tamr on October 22, 2019
Russian military police members stand outside an armoured vehicle along a road in the countryside near the northeastern Syrian town of Amuda in Hasakeh province on October 24, 2019, as part of a joint patrol between Russian forces and Syrian Kurdish Asayish internal security forces near the border with Turkey
The president said he would ‘NEVER’ allow ISIS to get oil fields being guarded by U.S. and Kurdish forces in Syria
A US military vehicle, part of a convoy, arrives near the Iraqi Kurdish town of Bardarash in the Dohuk governorate after withdrawing from northern Syria on October 21, 2019
Turkish soldiers drive American-made M60 tanks in the town of Tukhar, north of Syria’s northern city of Manbij, on October 14, 2019, during their assault on Kurdish-held border towns in northeastern Syria
Trump did not further explain his comment about Kurds heading to the region.
Trump said at the White House Wednesday: ‘We’ve secured the oil, and, therefore, a small number of U.S. troops will remain in the area where they have the oil. And we’re going to be protecting it, and we’ll be deciding what we’re going to do with it in the future.’
HIs speech was filled with passages about the costs of sustained involvement in the MIddle East. ‘Let someone else fight over this long-bloodstained sand,’ Trump said.
‘Eight long years after President Obama’s ill-fated push at regime change, U.S. troops are still on the ground in Syria. More than half a million people are dead, hundreds of thousands are terribly injured, and millions more Syrians are displaced. It really is a nightmare of misery,’ Trump added.
NBC News reported that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and retired Gen. Jack Keane, a Fox News contributor, twice visited the White House to try to talk the president out of getting out of Syria.
According to the report, Keane took Trump through a map of Syria, noting that oil fields under U.S. and Kurdish control would fall into the hands of Iran in the case of a total withdrawal. Keane reportedly told him that three-fourths of Syrian oil was in Kurdish-controlled areas. They obtained control of the area in part with U.S. backing while battling ISIS forces inside Syria.
Special envoy for Syria James Jeffrey told Congress Wednesday more than 100 ISIS prisoners have escaped since Turkey invaded Syria this month.