US officials say humanitarian efforts in Syria are another way to counter ISIS

من الإرشيف

US special operations forces in northeastern Syria are visiting local villages to help provide medical care to communities that have seen little to no health care in the wake of the war years.

The United States views the medical visits as part of efforts to work with the SDF to stabilize the region, so ISIS cannot take root, a defense official familiar with the program told CNN. In all, there are about 900 US troops in Syria.

US officials insist the humanitarian effort is not “mission creep,” because the focus is on providing another means to counter ISIS. But it is a step beyond the initial deployment of troops by former US President Donald Trump, with the goal of achieving his goal of seizing revenues from oil fields in the region.
American officials confirm that the medical work is led by the Syrian Democratic Forces, and the American forces are operating under them. However, security remains a sensitive issue given that ISIS, Russian and regime forces sometimes operate in the area. All US forces provide their own security.
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US special operations elements participated in two medical visits in Deir Ezzor in northeastern Syria in November, according to Major Charles Ann, a spokesman for the Joint Special Operations Task Force in the Levant that provides US forces.

The area has witnessed large-scale battles in recent years. Troops examined and treated nearly 200 patients at hospital sites and helped distribute medical supplies, Ann said.

Locals would travel several hours to the nearest health care provider because Deir ez-Zor had only first aid services after years of conflict.

So far there have been seven medical visits in the past year including two from last month, according to Ann, a former Army Delta Force officer and the US ambassador sign a secret contract to develop Syria’s oil fields

While US special operations forces have long undertaken humanitarian relief missions in conflict zones and disadvantaged communities, the efforts in Syria come as the Pentagon rethinks its use of forces in the wake of the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

This summer, all Special Operations activities in Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt were combined under a now renamed headquarters called Joint Special Operations Task Force-Levant. The renaming is an attempt to identify terrorist and violent extremist organizations operating across large areas that require a more regional approach, according to Lt. Col. Tony Hoeffler, a spokesman for US Central Special Operations Command.

But what has not yet been resolved is a comprehensive way forward on how and when US forces can conduct counter-terror drone strikes from so-called “over the horizon” bases far from where the targets are located in the wake of a raid in Kabul that killed many. not on purpose. civilians just as the United States was withdrawing from the country. Many defense officials say the question of the long-term path in these types of missions remains.

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