Only a few days after U.S. troops were pulled out of northern Syria, a column of 18 MRAPs and armored carries escorted by a pair of Apache AH-64E helicopters has crossed through the al-Walid border crossing point between Iraq and Syria. According to the reports, they were heading toward Deir Ez-Zor to protect oilfields.
The deployment came a day after the Pentagon pledged to maintain a “reduced presence” in Syria. The US special operations forces crossed into Syria on route to oil fields in Deir Ez-Zor province in order to prevent Syrian oil fields to come under the control of the ISIS militants or other ‘destabilizing actors,’ according to the official who spoke under condition of anonymity to NBC.
“We will not discuss details or timelines of those forces for security reasons,” the official said.
Earlier, CNN reported that the crossing had taken place, citing a Kurdish Regional Government official and Syrian Democratic Forces fighters. Two sources said to be inside Syria further confirmed to NBC that they witnessed a US military convoy driving toward Deir Ez-Zor.
This is a twist in a serious of events that occurred last days, since the announcement of U.S. withdrawal from northern Syria. It is a clear reversal from a pledge made last week to withdraw the entirety of its 1,000 troops in northern Syria.