Syrian War Report – November 4, 2019: ‘Withdrawing’ US Troops Setting Up New Military Bases

The Syrian Army and Turkish-led forces are strengthening their positions on a contact line in northeastern Syria. A large convoy of Syrian Army reinforcements deployed in the towns of Abu Rasin and Umm Harmalah south of Ras al-Ayn. The convoy included T-72 battle tanks, BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles, Gvozdika self-propelled 122 mm howitzer and BM-21 Grad 122 mm rocket launchers. At the same time, the Turkish Army sent additional troops and equipment to the countryside of Ras al-Ayn.

On November 1, 2 and 3, clashes between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Turkish-backed militants were ongoing in a number of gray area villages, including Azizah, al-Jamilyah and Faysaliyah, in northwestern al-Hasakah. Pro-SDF sources claim that Kurdish fighters re-captured over 10 villages from Turkish-led forces. Pro-Turkish sources claim that SDF members are on retreat. In fact, a large part of the territory south of Ras al-Ayn remains a no-man land.

On November 3, the Russian military and the SDF reportedly established a coordination center the town of Ain Issa. The center will be tasked with coordination of efforts to implement the northeastern Syria ‘safe zone’ agreement and improving coordination between the Syrian-Russian-Iranian alliance and the SDF, in general.

The Russian Aerospace Forces have carried out airstrikes on positions of al-Qaeda-linked groups near the towns of Kafar Sijnah, Jbala, Rakaya Sijneh, Hass, Ma`arat al-Nu`man and Kbani in the southern part of the Idlib de-escalation zone.

The strikes were conducted in response to recent attempts by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its Turkish-backed allies to advance on Syrian Army positions south of Kbani. At least 7 Syrian Army troops were killed and several pieces of military equipment were destroyed in that clashes, according to pro-militant sources.

The US military is consolidating its control over oil areas on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. According to pro-militant sources, additional US troops were deployed at the Heemo military garrison near Qamishly and a former base of the Syrian Air Defense Forces’ 113th Brigade in Deir Ezzor may soon be turned into a US military base.

On October 31, it became known that members of the North Carolina-based 4th Battalion, 118th Infantry Regiment and the South Carolina-based 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade started deployment in oil-rich areas in eastern Syria. They are accompanied with M2A2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles.

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