Brief: A New U.S. Base in Syria

The drawdown from the Middle East was never going to happen overnight.

Editor’s Note: The following is a new content type we are calling Briefs. They are real-time updates on the world’s most pressing geopolitical events, broken down into a reader-friendly format. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Background: The United States is trying to reduce its military footprint in the Middle East so that it can focus on what it sees as greater national security threats elsewhere, namely the Indo-Pacific. It was always going to be a gradual process; Washington simply has too many security, energy and political interests there to abandon the region overnight. What’s Happened: A recent spate of attacks conducted by militias backed by the Syrian and Iranian governments in Deir el-Zour, the oil-rich province in northeastern Syria, has prompted Washington to beef up its military presence there. Reports from local media suggest the U.S. Army has already begun construction of a base in the area, setting up a helipad for delivery of supplies and recruiting fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces for security. Once completed, the base will be situated near several Syrian facilities along the western bank of the Euphrates River. Bottom Line: The base’s proximity to the Syrian-Iraqi border is […]

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