So much for President Donald Trump's promises to pull US troops out of Syria.
Despite the US's insistence that it intends to pull troops out of Syria (at some point, possibly in the distant future), local media report that the US has set up a new military facility in Eastern Deir ez-Zor - not far from ISIS's last major stronghold in Syria, which was crushed by the Syrian Army back in November shortly before they declared victory against ISIS. The region is also known for being rich in oil.
According to the reports, the new base is located in the al-Tanak oilfield, which is controlled by Kurdish forces. Form their new outpost, American personnel have been ferrying new supplies to the front from the town of Khasham, in southeastern Deir ez-Zor, to the city of Hosseinieh, situated northeast of the Deir ez-Zor region.
In response to French President Emmauel Macron's claims that Trump promised him the US would linger in Syria for the foreseeable future, Sarah Huckabee Sanders has insisted that nothing has changed.
"The US mission has not changed – the president has been clear he wants US forces to come home as quickly as possible. We are determined to completely crush ISIS and create the conditions that will prevent its return. In addition we expect our regional allies and partners to take greater responsibility both militarily and financially for securing the region," White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
News of the new base follows airstrikes carried out by a US-led coalition on Friday. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, most of the more than 100 missiles fired at Syria missed their target (the Pentagon has said they destroyed three facilities that were integral to the Syrian regime's chemical weapons program).
Furthermore, Russia has also found evidence that some rebel groups are in possession of chemical weapons.
Perhaps these are the same rebel groups that the US is there to support?