Pentagon Sends Troops to Syria

American troops in Syria

Additional troops sent to Syria following an interaction between American and Russian militaries.

  • Troops sent to Syria following altercation
  • The incident between the American and Russian military
  • Trump pulling troops out of the Middle East
  • Russian side of the story
  • General praises American troops’ handling of the interaction

Troops sent to Syria following altercation

The Pentagon has recently sent additional troops to Syria following a confrontation between American and Russian troops. According to military officials, the troops being sent to Syria are meant to be a display of force and presence to discourage Russian military personnel from crossing into the eastern security area where US, coalition, and Syrian Democratic forces operate.

The additional 100 troops being sent to Syria along with the 500 troops already in Syria also include 6 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, advanced radars, and more fighter jet patrols. They will be sent to operate in northeast Syria for 90 days. Spokesperson for the military’s central command, Captain Bill Urban wrote in an email, “These actions are a clear demonstration of US resolve to defend coalition forces.” He continued, “and to ensure that they are able to continue their defeat-ISIS mission without interference.”

The incident between the American and Russian military

Although the American and Russian militaries have crossed paths several times often on checkpoints along the highway M4 before, the deployment of additional troops by the Pentagon seems to be a response to a recent interaction between the two militaries resulting in seven injured American soldiers.

In this incident, Russian armored military vehicles sideswiped an American military vehicle in northeast Syria. US officials claim that the Russian vehicles intentionally collided with the American vehicles and several Russian helicopters flew low and fast over the scene of the incident. Officials have also added that the Russian military were not supposed to be in that area.

A spokesperson of the US Central Command told NBC News that the Russian military had misbehaved and were conducting operations in an unprofessional manner. He said it “got us into a dangerous situation where a Russian ground patrol actually came into the eastern Syria security area, an area they were not authorized to be in.” Urban called the actions of the Russian military “deliberately provocative and aggressive.”

Trump pulling troops out of the Middle East

The additional forces being sent to Syria came almost immediately after President Trump announced that American troops are mostly “out of Syria” aside from the exception of those guarding the region’s oil fields. President Trump has also announced the removal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. The US intends to reduce the amount of troops in Iraq from 5,200 to approximately 3,000 by the end of September and in Afghanistan from 8,600 to 4,500 troops by the presidential election.

Russian side of the story

Despite the claims that American officials have made against the Russian military’s actions, the Russian side of the story differs from what American military personnel claimed. The Russian Chief of Staff, General Valery V. Gerasimov said the American troops were blocking Russian patrols “in breach of the existing agreements.” He claimed that Russian troops “toom every step necessary to prevent the incident and proceed with its mission.” American officials claim this is a false account of the events that occurred in the altercation.

General praises American troops’ handling of the interaction

The head of US Central Command, General Kenneth F. Mackenzie Jr. defended American troops and condemned the actions of the Russian military. He praised the way the American soldiers handled the situation and said they did a good job of preventing an escalation in the interaction. He said, “What saved the situation was the very good judgement of small unit US Army commanders on the ground.” He added, “I’m just glad I got those kind of people out there making decisions.” 

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