US forces have brought a convoy consisting of 58 vehicles into Syria’s al-Hasakah province from Iraq through the al-Waleed border crossing point, SANA has reported, citing civilian sources in the nearby al-Yaarubiyah countryside.
The vehicles reportedly included armoured military vehicles, trucks carrying cement plates, and other equipment, with the convoy making its way for the city of Qamishli, the site of last month’s deadly clash between US and Syrian forces, which left one Syrian soldier dead and two others injured.
US forces in Syria have not commented on the convoy, its movements or purpose. In recent days, local sources have reported an uptick in activity along the Syrian-Iraqi border, including the arrival of a separate 65 vehicle convoy from Iraq, among them military vehicles on flatbeds, refrigerator and tanker trucks, and armoured vehicle escorts. SANA has also reported a convoy of dozens of damaged military and civilian vehicles being transferred into Iraq.
A convoy of #US occupation forces consisting of 150 military vehicles and a tanker carrying armored vehicles and damaged covered trucks and tanks left their illegal bases in #Syrian al-Jazeera region to northern #Iraq through Al-Walid illegitimate crossing.#Syria pic.twitter.com/Vu98ed5ppD— Haidar Ahmad (@Haidar_Ahmad_) September 15, 2020
#News #US occupation forces Yesterday brought in 65 vehicles, trucks, refrigerators and tanker trucks, accompanied by several armored vehicles through al-Walid illegitimate crossing coming from #Iraq to its illegal bases in #Hasaka province of #Syria. pic.twitter.com/6dOPnWGtgk— 🇸🇾 NadieHarbieh 🇸🇾 (@HarbiehNadie) September 13, 2020
The al-Waleed border point remains outside the control of the Syrian government, which classifies it as an “illegal” crossing point because of its lack of jurisdiction.
The US beefed up its military presence in Syria earlier this month, with Xinhua reporting the movement of 50 military vehicles into Syria on September 4. Before that, regional media reported that the US had sent over 60 trucks and armoured vehicles to al-Hasakah, again using the al-Waleed crossing point.
Report by @TheArabSource: a large U.S.-led International Coalition convoy entered northeastern Syria this week, bringing with them over 60 trucks and armored vehicles to the Al-Hasakah Governorate via the Al-Walid Crossing#Syria #US #coalition #Hasakah pic.twitter.com/gq1xsnIZAk— SMM Syria (@smmsyria) September 3, 2020
Syrian authorities have repeatedly called on US forces to leave the country, stressing their presence is illegal under international law, and accusing them and their Kurdish allies of stealing the country’s resources in the oil-rich regions of Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor, where most US troops are stationed. The Trump administration has rejected Damascus’s demands, with President Trump himself repeatedly promising to “keep” Syria’s oil, despite concerns from legal experts that this would violate international laws against plundering.
This week, Syrian President Bashar Assad blasted the Trump administration for acting like a “terrorist group” and a “rogue state” after Trump claimed that he once “had a shot” at assassinating Assad but didn’t because of resistance from his former Secretary of Defence, James Mattis.