The Pentagon regime officials claim this came after a series of incidents between US and Russian troops in the country, who will be operating in northeast Syria on a 90-day deployment.
They say the additional soldiers and vehicles will serve as a “show of presence” to discourage Russia from entering the eastern security zone where US forces and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces operate. It’s more than that.
US troops have had multiple encounters with the Syrian government and Russia inside Syria throughout the year. Some of the more serious confrontations occurred last month.
US commanders blame the encounters on Moscow and Damascus, but while the US maintains its presence in the country against the will of the Syrian government, confrontations are bound to happen. These new occupying forces will only make the situation worse.
Indeed, the US is taking this route given the success of the Syrian and allied Russian campaign in general and in particular in light of souring US-Turkish relations, the possibility of the US losing access to the Turkish Incirlik base, and the dire situation of Takfiri forces after their defeat by the Syrian government forces and its allies.
Mainstream media outlets present the additional US occupying forces as a “warning for Russia and Syria” or a “defensive threat”, but they have failed to distinguish the de facto meaning of this new development. Nor have they included that the US military’s official presence in Syria is in stark violation of international law, constituting an illegal occupation of a sovereign state.
It has long been assessed that the reason that the US has simultaneously backed ISIL and Kurdish forces is for the purpose of using ISIL as an excuse and threat to be defeated, only to then carve out a US occupation zone and military base under the pretext of forming an independent Kurdish state.
However, the international community is under no illusions that this is just as much a violation of Syrian sovereignty as would be a Kurdish territory made possible only thanks to a war of US occupation. Under the international legal norms of the Geneva convention as well as subsequent parallel agreements, the US does not have the right to divide, separate, occupy, or carve out a section of Syria regardless of what the US occupying army claims to justify its presence and meddling.
Moreover, under the present Syrian Constitution, Kurds are represented both in the government in Damascus and have a semi-autonomous status within the central Syrian state.
The brazen and illegal deployment of additional troops by the US poses the real possibility of creating a direct confrontation between Syrian and Russian forces on the one hand, and the US military and their Kurdish outfits on the other. This deliberate increase in troop numbers would deal a major blow to hopes for a diplomatic resolution to the Syrian crisis.
The new development marks a turning point in the Syrian conflict. If before there had been any ambiguity about the US intentions in Syria – a plan to divide Syria which had been publicly elaborated at the White House - then now the US has revealed its hand. This is a historic and dangerous development which only increases the chances of a new war, for which the US would be totally held responsible.
The United States has invaded Syria with a significant military force, is occupying nearly one-third of its territory, has announced plans for an indefinite occupation, and is plundering the country’s petroleum resources.
Washington has no authorization under international or even US law to invade and occupy Syria, much less attack Syrian forces, which it has done repeatedly. Nor has it a legal warrant to create new administrative and governance structures in the country to replace the Syrian government, a project it is undertaking through a parallel invasion of US diplomatic personnel.
These actions amount to a project of recolonization by an empire bent on extending its supremacy to all the Arab and Muslim worlds, including the remaining outposts of resistance to foreign tyranny. Moreover, US actions represent an escalation of Washington’s long war on Syria, previously carried out through proxies, including ISIL and Al Qaeda, into a full-scale conventional war with direct US military involvement.
The enormity of the project, the escalation of the war, and the US occupation of Syria has largely flown under the radar of public awareness. It’s a wake-up call to the UN and the world community to stand up and take proper actions to make sure no one but the Syrian government and people are the ones that would determine their own fate.