Pressure Mounts against US Occupation of Northeast Syria


Vanessa Beeley – TRANSCEND Media Service

Russian and Syrian Reinforcements on Their Way to East of the Euphrates

3 Jun 2023 – Reports are coming of a sizeable Russian military convoy heading for the east of Deir Ezzor governorate in the north-east of Syria. This deployment of Russian troops coincides with reports of the arrival of Iranian military equipment to the area and the extensive build up of Syrian Arab Army 17th Infantry Divisions on the banks of the Euphrates river.

On the 1st of June the CIA-aligned Washington Post published an article entitled ‘Iran plans to escalate attacks against U.S. troops in Syria, documents show’. WAPO claims that the discord leaks exposed a ‘covert plan to kill Americans [which] is seen as part of a larger Russian-backed strategy to oust the US from Syria’. According to WAPO:

Iran is arming militants in Syria for a new phase of lethal attacks against U.S. troops in the country, while also working with Russia on a broader strategy to drive Americans from the region, intelligence officials and leaked classified documents say.

Of course we should ask why WAPO needs leaked documents or intelligence officials to inform them that Syrians do not appreciate the illegal occupation of one third of Syrian territory, unlawful US military bases, regular kidnap and killings of Syrian civilians by US military, theft of oil and agricultural resources on top of a twelve year hybrid war to topple the Syrian government using terrorist proxies. Could WAPO or other US media outlets not figure out for themselves that a push back against US violation of international law was inevitable using the alliances that have supported Syria throughout history? I guess not.

The article goes on:

Iran and its allies are building and training forces to use more powerful armor-piercing roadside bombs intended specifically to target U.S. military vehicles and kill U.S. personnel, according to classified intelligence reports obtained by The Washington Post. Such attacks would constitute an escalation of Iran’s long-running campaign of using proxy militias to launch rocket and drone strikes on U.S. forces in Syria.

Drone attacks have wounded six U.S. service members and killed a Defense Department contractor, and the new explosive devices could add to the toll of U.S. casualties, risking a wider military confrontation with Iran, current and former intelligence analysts and weapons experts say. The same type of weapon, called an explosively formed penetrator, or EFP, was used by pro-Iranian insurgents in lethal attacks against American military convoys during the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

‘Iran’s long running campaign of using proxy militias’ to force US military out of Syria – the US should not be in Syria and it is using proxy terrorist groups to force an internationally recognised Syrian government out of power while economically suffocating the Syrian people and sadistically depriving them of their essential resources.

The so-called Iranian “proxy-militias” would presumably include Iraqi Hash’d Al Shaabi and Hezbollah. Both groups have been instrumental in preventing ISIS expansion in Iraq and Syria while the US is known to have recruited, trained, equipped ISIS to destroy and destabilise both countries for the benefit of the US alliance of neocolonialists.

The article continues:

Officials with Iran’s elite Quds Force unit directed and oversaw testing of one of the explosives, which reportedly sliced through a tank’s armored plating in a trial run conducted in late January in Dumayr, east of Damascus, the Syrian capital, according to one of the intelligence reports. The document, part of the trove of classified materials leaked on the messaging platform Discord, appears to be based on intercepted communications by Syrian and Lebanese militants allied to Iran. One apparent attempt to use such devices against U.S. forces was apparently thwarted in late February when three bombs were seized by U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria, a second document states.

“There has been a sea change in their risk-acceptance in killing Americans in Syria,” said Michael Knights, an expert on Iranian-backed militia groups and a founder of the website Militia Spotlight. Noting the devastating toll exacted by EFP bombs during the Iraq War, he added: “This will definitely kill people. And they’re thinking very hard about how to do it.”

If Americans allow their military to be used to commit crimes in Syria, what do they expect? Americans will be killed eventually and rightfully so. There has been a Kurdish Contra/US-led blockade on information exiting the north-east to detail the US crimes against Syrian civilians but once the US grip on Syrian territory is loosened (and it will be) these crimes will start to be documented and recorded just as they were in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam – anywhere the US hegemon invaded, destroyed and pillaged. Back to WAPO:

Another document in the trove describes a new and broader effort by Moscow, Damascus and Tehran to oust the United States from Syria, a long-sought goal that could allow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to reclaim eastern provinces now controlled by U.S.-backed Kurdish forces.

Another one describes how Iran and allied militias were preparing to retaliate for Israeli strikes on their forces by hitting U.S. bases in Syria.

The leaked documents show plans for a wide-ranging campaign by U.S. opponents that would involve stoking popular resistance and supporting a grass-roots movement to carry out attacks against Americans in eastern and northeastern Syria. High-ranking Russian, Iranian and Syrian military and intelligence officials met in November 2022 and agreed on establishing a “coordination center” for directing the campaign, according to a classified intelligence assessment prepared in January.

The article reiterates US claims that they are in Syria to ‘prevent a resurgence of ISIS’ but this is palpably untrue. There have been multiple local reports of the US storing ISIS fighters in the various prison camps dotted across the north-east – aided and abetted by the Kurdish Separatists who act as alleged prison guards for these camps. The Kurdish role in enabling ISIS break-outs is investigated here. The true role of the Kurds in Syria and their crimes are investigated here, here and here. An estimated 15000 ISIS terrorists and their families are being held in these makeshift camps, the biggest being the infamous Al Hol camp.

The danger of the ISIS card lies in the large numbers distributed among 9 prisons in the US-backed SDF-controlled areas, which are potential targets for similar attacks, especially the “Kamba Al-Bulgar” prison, east of Al-Shaddadi city in the southern countryside of Hasaka, which includes 5,000 ISIS militants.

In addition to Al-Sina’a prisons, Al-Shaddadiyah, Derek/ Al-Malikiyah, Al-Kasra, Al-Raqqa Central Prison, Rmelan and Nafker in the Qamishli city, from which 60 ISIS militants were transferred to a prison in Al-Hasakah last September – Ibrahim Mohammad Wahdi (Syrian researcher)

Since the double earthquake struck Syria on the 6th February there has been an increase in ISIS attacks, particularly on Syrian civilians to the east of Homs. There have been reports that the Pentagon is forming a rebranded military brigade that will comprise the so-called Free Syrian Army and ISIS fighters to carry out attacks on Syrian Arab Army and Russian positions.

The Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin, has warned that the US occupation army is concocting a plan to sow chaos in quake-struck Syria by training and arming members of ISIS and other extremist groups.

“[The US army plans] to form several groups of radicals with a total number of about 300 people. After special training, they will be involved in attacks on military facilities in Syria and Iran,” Naryshkin said in an SVR statement released on 20 March.

ISIS is another proxy of the US alliance in Syria and this has been clear since John Kerry was recorded in a UN closed session describing how the Obama administration allowed ISIS to flourish in the hope it would topple the Syrian government in Damascus. The WAPO article then states:

The Pentagon has declined to comment on the leaked documents and did not respond to questions about the intelligence detailing the new plots against U.S. forces in Syria. But the move by Iranian-backed militias to escalate attacks against Americans with roadside bombs was confirmed in interviews with two current officials and one former official with access to sensitive intelligence from the region.

However one day after the WAPO article was published, the Times of Israel made the claim that the Israeli attacks on 28th May had targeted the Hezbollah Golan File training base in Dumayr to the north of Damascus – where the Iranian Quds Forces had allegedly run trials on the explosive devices in January according to WAPO. [Dumayr town is north of Damascus, Al Dumayr airfield is to the east – the WAPO article mentions the east.]

According to the Times of Israel:

Last week, it was reported that Golan File Hezbollah operatives were conducting military exercises at the Dumayr base in preparation for an attack on American troops in Syria. The report was first published by the Al-Hadath network and later confirmed by two US intelligence officials to the Long War Journal, a daily publication of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based think tank.

However the Syrian Ministry of Defence statement suggested that Israeli missiles had only succeeded in material damage to buildings ‘in the vicinity of Damascus’.

Of course the US is responding to the threat to its illegal military presence in Syria by doubling down on the economic pressure on Syrian civilians and fury at their Arab allies normalisation of relations with Syria ending in President Assad’s defiant speech at the recent Arab League Summit in Jeddah.

Watch Kevork Almassian of Syriana Analysis – ‘Islamic Group in Washington conspires with the neocons against Syria’

However WAPO and the Israeli media want to spin the latest military developments in Syria – any Syrian allied moves to expel the US military from Syrian territory are entirely justified under international law and the US should be aware, its reign of terror in the region is coming to an end.


Vanessa Beeley is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. “The pursuit of peace and progress, with its trials and its errors, its successes and its setbacks, can never be relaxed and never abandoned.”


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