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    Is the Pentagon’s Buildup in Northeast Syria a Message to Russia, Turkey, Damascus, or Someone Else?


    On 18 September, the US Central Command announced that it had taken a series of measures aimed at ensuring the safety and security of US-led coalition forces in north-eastern . Mark Sleboda, a US veteran and international affairs and security analyst, has explained who the major addressees of the Pentagon's move are.

    “The United States has deployed Sentinel radar, increased the frequency of US fighter patrols over US forces, and deployed Bradley Fighting Vehicles to augment US forces in the Eastern Syria Security Area (ESSA)”, a Department of Defence () statement said, highlighting that “the US does not seek conflict with any other nation in Syria, but will defend Coalition forces if necessary”.

    On 21 September, US Special Representative Ambassador James Jeffrey travelled to northeast Syria, currently occupied by US-led coalition forces, and held separate meetings with leaders of the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces () and Kurdish political parties, vowing to provide them with support and protection.

    Both the Pentagon's military buildup and Jeffrey's rare visit to al-Hasakah came on the heels of sporadic attacks against US troops and proxies, the SDF, in the northeast of the Arab Republic. In August, Arab tribal leaders in Deir ez-Zor Governorate issued an ultimatum to the US-led coalition demanding that they withdraw from the region within a month, while Aleppo tribal representatives signalled support for a Syrian popular resistance against…

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