Two military experts say the US-led coalition’s move to establish a new military base in the Syrian Kurdish-controlled area near the Iraqi Kurdistan region could signal a longer US-led coalition presence against the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS).
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) and the Arab News newspaper reported that the United States was trying to establish a new military base in the Syrian Kurdish-controlled area of Hasaka province. According to Arab News, the new base will be built near the village of Ein Dwar in the northeastern Syrian province of Hasaka, near the borders of Iraqi Kurdistan.
The two news sources have reported on the transfer of equipment needed to establish a new US base in the northeastern region of Syria, and the transfer of equipment and troops from the Kurdistan Region to the region.
Nicholas Horas, a researcher at the Institute for War Studies, described the US move as a logistical move for a longer presence in northeastern Syria.
He told Arab News that the new US military base in northeastern Syria is located near the main US equipment and logistics crossing in the Kurdistan region. The United States imports most of its equipment and forces through this border crossing into Syria from the Kurdish region.
Nicholas Heras suggested that aerial equipment, such as drones, would be moved to the new base for the United States to be used in targeting ISIS leaders.
Navar Shaaban, a military analyst, also referred to the widespread use of Turkey’s Incirlik base by the anti-ISIS coalition to strike the group in Syria, saying that the new American base in Syria could not play the same role as Incirlik. “The United States will not strengthen its new base through Incirlik, but through its air base in Erbil, the center of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region,” he told the English-language daily.
Regarding the reason for the US move to establish a new base in the Kurdish areas of Syria, he said: “Following the withdrawal of more US troops from Syria (in 2019), the US presence in Syria was challenged by the escalation of attacks by ISIS and some other groups. The creation of a new military base is a new strategy to secure the areas where the country’s forces are stationed.”