American military bases in Syria have several strategic goals, including challenging Russia’s military efforts and helping Kurds establish an autonomous state entity, experts told Sputnik.
In July, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported that the United States now has as many as 10 military bases in northern Syria, on the territories controlled by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).In an interview with Sputnik Arabic, Syrian lawmaker Nabil Taama said that by ramping up its military bases in Syria the US wants to set a counterbalance to Russia’s presence in Syria and help establish an autonomous Kurdish state.
“This is an attack on Syria’s sovereignty. Washington continues its aggressive policy on Syrian soil,” Taama said.
According to the lawmaker, the US is trying to gain a foothold in Syria, taking on and outmaneuvering Russia. However, he stressed, Russia’s military efforts in Syria are authorized by Damascus.
In turn, Syrian military and strategic expert Brig. Gen. Muhammed Isa pointed out that there is no reasonable basis for the US military presence in Syria and it is “absolutely illegal.”
The general also claimed that the Pentagon coordinates its actions with Daesh and opposition forces. At the same time, the Russian military campaign is aimed at helping the Syrian legitimate government fight terrorism and preserve the country’s territorial integrity.
In an earlier interview with Sputnik, University of Illinois Professor of International Law Francis Boyle said that the US military presence violates international law norms.
“The United States military intervention into Syria without the permission of the Syrian government clearly violates the United Nations Charter and the Nuremberg Charter, Judgement and Principles,” Boyle said in July.
According to the report, two air bases in the area of Rmeilan, the province of Hasakah, have been operating since October 2015. In March 2016, a helicopter base was opened in the Harab Isk village near the city of Kobani, which also serves as a staging post on a military aid delivery route to the Syrian Kurds.
In addition, three more military facilities are reportedly located in the province of Hasakah. One of them hosts some 100 US servicemen and the other about 150. These bases are focused on the struggle with Daesh. Two more sites are located in the town of Manbij, where operations are conducted against the forces of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
Three more posts were also reported in northern Raqqa, two of which host French troops alongside US personnel. The third transfers equipment to Kurdish forces and operates as a communication centre of the US-led international coalition.According to Anadolu, the deployment locations of US troops are often designated as “closed areas” and are classified. The troops assist in airstrikes and shelling, train local forces and conduct operational planning.
The bases are equipped with highly manoeuvrable artillery batteries, rocket launchers, mobile reconnaissance equipment and armoured cars, Strykers in particular, the report reads.