Led Coalition Deploying Bradley Fighting Vehicles to Northeast Syria

SDF and US troops in Hasakah Syria. Reuters

The US military has sent half a dozen armored vehicles on a 90-day mission to reinforce its troops in eastern Syria, less than a month after four US soldiers were injured during an altercation with Russian troops in the area.

U.S. defence officials told NBC News that the deployment is aimed at projecting a show of force to discourage Russian troops from crossing into territory controlled by the coalition.

About 500 US troops are serving at austere bases in an area in the country's northeast to aid Syrian Democratic Forces battling ISIS. The executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details of the military move, said the reserves are meant to be a clear signal to Russian Federation to avoid any more risky and intriguing actions against the United States and its allies there.

Last year's deployment, which military officials in January said lasted less than two months, came after US forces hastily pulled back from the northern border area amid a Turkish military incursion.

"These actions are a clear demonstration of US resolve to defend Coalition forces in the [Eastern Syria Security Area], and to ensure that they are able to continue their Defeat-ISIS mission without interference", Urban said. The Russian Defence Ministry blamed the USA for the vehicle collision. The U.S. and SDF had permission from the pro-Syrian regime forces manning the checkpoint, but then began to take fire from unidentified forces nearby. An additional 100 to 200 US military personnel are stationed at a remote outpost along a major southern highway near the border with Jordan that is a transit point for Iranian weapons to Hezabollah and Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.

General Frank McKenzie, the top brass at Central Command, said that Russia's actions "got us into a unsafe situation where a Russian ground patrol actually came into the eastern Syria security area, an area they were not authorized to be in".

The four American service members injured in the crash received concussions.

There have been several road rage incidents in northeastern Syria in recent months involving USA and Russian convoys.

Nevertheless, "patrols are always conducted with out SDF partners", McKenzie said.

Russian and Syrian government forces rapidly moved into the area, on the east side of the Euphrates River, to fill the void left by the Americans a year ago.

Whereas Washington faulted Moscow for "provocative" conduct in the course of the skirmish, Russia's personal account of the altercation differs considerably, arguing that the related United States commanders had been knowledgeable of the Russian patrol route, and that the American autos tried to dam its path.

They have been used final October in operations with US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in missions to defeat the remnants of ISIS and to guard oil fields in that space.

The Bradley units are from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, based at Fort Bliss, Texas.

Urban says that the move wants to help ensure the safety and security of the Coalition forces.

"The Coalition forces remain steadfast in our commitment of ensuring the enduring defeat of Daesh (ISIS)".



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