Within the first few weeks of the Biden administration a handful of viral stories alleged there had been an immediate uptick in US convoys and logistical equipment headed into northeast Syria, which many took to reflect an escalation of the occupation under the new administration. However, given that most US action in Syria including troop movements and locations at any given moment are classified and done far away from ground-level media reporting, it's almost impossible to verify whether such large convoys in and out of the country are part of 'routine' resupply missions or if they represent a broader build-up of forces.
On the heels of the recent speculation and slightly increased or renewed public interest in Syria, there are fresh reports out this week that the Pentagon is actually constructing a new US base in northeast Hasakah. Significantly, this allegation is also being featured in Syrian state media.
Citing Syrian state sources in the middle of this week, for example, Middle East Monitor described that, "The US army began building a second base in the Al-Malikiyah region in the Syrian northeastern province of Hasakah, Syria's SANA news agency reported."
According to further details offered by SANA:
The agency quoted local sources as saying that over the past few days, US forces have deployed military reinforcements including 60 armored vehicles and army engineering vehicles to carry out excavation, leveling, and construction of barricades in the area, southwest of Ain Dewar in the border triangle between Syria, Iraq, and Turkey.
At the end of last month, American forces began establishing a base near Tal Alu in the Al-Yarubiya area in Hasakah eastern countryside.
Early this week the Saudi-funded, London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat also wrote that a new base is being established in the US-occupied border region of Syria's northeast:
The paper cited the anti-Assad opposition source SOHR:
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a military convoy of over 50 vehicles and trucks affiliated to the International Coalition were seen crossing into north-eastern Syria from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
"Trucks, carrying armored vehicles, weapons, military, and logistical equipment, entered via Al-Walid border crossing with the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, heading towards Al-Qamishli area," the Observatory reported.
And crucially it emphasized the following: "This is the 11th Coalition convoy to enter Syria since the beginning of 2021."
A Large US Military Convoy Rolled Into Syria On 1st Day Of Biden Presidency https://t.co/Y9e9lrA46j— zerohedge (@zerohedge) January 23, 2021
Of course, Damascus and its allies Russia and Iran have long been vocal in condemning the blatantly illegal occupation of a UN-member state's sovereign territory.
Whether the latest reported large convoys are in fact for the purpose erecting new bases or are perhaps just "routine" transports... it ultimately matters little to Syria and its allies. The American military presence remains an aggressive, illegal occupation nonetheless.
In the scant foreign policy remarks given thus far since entering the White House, Biden has essentially glossed over Syria, instead focusing on places like Iran, China, and Russia. Amid the silence there's a growing unease that the US is quietly building its presence there for something big yet to come, after Trump touted his "secure the oil" plan - the latter phraseology which the new administration has recently attempted to distance itself from.
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To review the Syria quagmire and Washington's long-running covert war aimed at regime change in Damascus, or essentially how we got here, see author Scott Horton's analysis below (Warning: very graphic at 7:50 mark):