The Pentagon is preparing to send U.S. forces, including tanks and armored vehicles, to defend oil fields in northern Syria, according to a U.S. official. The move appears to be a reversal of President Trump’s controversial decision to remove U.S. forces from northern Syria two weeks ago,
Trump tweeted yesterday about U.S. success in defending the oil fields with the Kurds in the past.
One defense official said the move is likely to prevent the oil fields from falling into the hands of ISIS, indicating that ISIS is still a significant threat.
Nicholas Heras, an expert on Syria from the Center for a New American Security, said he believes the move has less to do with ISIS and more to do with Russia:
“This move would either indicate that the U.S. military believes that it cannot depend on the SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces] to protect the oil fields, and instead cut a deal with Russia and Assad behind America’s back, or that the U.S. expects Assad and Russia to try to take the oil by force,” Heras said.