by Tim Korso
The reported destruction of the base comes amid a redeployment of American troops to Iraq that was announced on the same day by Defence Secretary Mark Esper.
The US Air Force has delivered airstrikes on the Al-Qulaib military base in the north-eastern Syrian province of Al-Hasakah, which American forces themselves occupied not long ago, Syria’s SANA news agency reported. The base had a runway that was used to receive military shipments from cargo planes and helicopters.
The base had just recently been abandoned by US troops due to their withdrawal to Iraq amid a Turkish offensive in northern Syria, which has already resulted in an incident where American soldiers nearly got shelled by their Turkish NATO allies.
While the US Defence Department has not commented on the news, the reported bombing of the abandoned base could be part of measures that are being taken to prevent equipment remaining there from being seized by Russian or Syrian forces. Previously, US troops destroyed a radar in the same Al-Hasakah province that they apparently couldn’t pack together in time, and what’s left of a military camp in Dadat near the Syrian city of Manbij.
Still, these military bases were not all cleared in haste, and some US soldiers apparently used this fact to send their regards to those who were likely to “replace” them – mostly to Russian soldiers.
Washington announced the withdrawal of its troops from northern Syria mere days prior to the start of the Turkish military’s Operation Peace Spring, which targets one of the US’ allies in the fight against Daesh* – Syrian Kurds. Despite the criticism, both domestic and from abroad, US President Donald Trump has defended the decision, arguing that the US shouldn’t have engaged in Middle Eastern conflicts in the first place.
Defence Secretary Mark Esper clarified on 20 October that the troops leaving northern Syria will be redeployed to Iraq instead of being deployed elsewhere in the Arab Republic. They will be tasked with preventing the resurgence of Daesh*.