According to Debka File, the US military has boosted its presence in six key positions in eastern Syria and western Iraq this month.
The reinforcements have reached bases located in three regions in Syria: al-Tanf base, just 24 km west of the Syrian-Jordanian-Iraqi border junction; Raqqah and the US airbase at Remelin, northeast of Hasakah.
“The six bases are focal points of US military command control of around 1,500 sq.km of territory between Ramadi in central Iraq, up to Hasakah in northern Syria, and down south to al-Tanf,” it said.
“This wedge of land is bisected down the center by the Iraqi-Syria border,” Debka reported.
Trump this month confirmed a decision to leave 400 US troops in Syria, reversing his plan to completely withdraw all 2,000 American troops from the country’s northeast.
Further questions about the US military presence in Syria arose last week when The Wall Street Journal quoted American officials as saying that the US was planning to keep about 1,000 troops in the Arab country.
The Journal said the reversal came after talks with Turkey as well as US-backed Kurdish forces and European allies failed to produce an agreement on a “safe zone” in northeast Syria.
General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, dismissed further changes in the plan, but Debka File said its military and intelligence sources had sorted out the conflicting reports and could confirm that the US had substantially boosted its military strength in both Iraq and Syria.
The Wall Street Journal says the US wants to keep 1,000 troops in Syria in a reversal from President Trump’s pledge to withdraw all forces. The top US general denies the report.
The website said the US decision to enhance its presence in the region comes as it seeks to support its recognition of the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory.
“The new US military deployment in Syria and Iraq gives substance to President Trump’s statement that the time has come to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan,” Debka said.
Also, it “is a high impediment for the plan hatched between Tehran and the [Syrian President Bashar] Assad regime to go forward without delay for the establishment of an Iranian land bridge to the Mediterranean after first reopening the Iraqi-Syrian border,” the report claimed.
Al-Masdar News online newspaper also reported on Monday that a large US military convoy had entered northeastern Syria last weekend.
The newspaper said a convoy of more than 150 trucks loaded with a large amount of weapons had entered Syria via the Simalka crossing at the Iraqi border.
The weapons, it said, are intended for the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which just recently pronounced the death of Daesh’s nearly five-year-old “caliphate” after flushing out diehard terrorists from their very last bastion in eastern Syria.
The United States is a key advocate of autonomy for Syrian Kurds which Damascus has roundly rejected, saying such a move would open the door to the partition of the country.