Tags: Iran | ISIS/Islamic State | Syria | Trump Administration | War on Terrorism | troops | withdrawal

With US Leaving Syria, Ability of Base to Block Iran in Doubt

central commander joseph votel speaks in front of the al-tanf base in syria
U.S. Central Commander Joseph Votel speaks in front of the al-Tanf base. (Lolita Baldor/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 27 December 2018 07:53 PM

Turkish forces expected to replace U.S. troops in northeastern Syria will not take over at a remote base in southern Syria that has helped thwart Iran's foothold in the Middle East, The Wall Street Journal reported.

More than 200 U.S. troops have been advising Syrian fighters at the al-Tanf garrison — a base sitting in strategically important terrain that provides a potential Iranian supply route through Iraq to Syria, the Journal reported.

When U.S. troops leave Syria, the Trump administration says Turkey will not take over at al-Tanf.

Washington earlier this year formulated a diplomatic strategy on Syria that called for the removal of all Iranian-commanded forces after ISIS was defeated — and maintains the United States has other means to pressure Iran, including sanctions, the Journal reported.

In addition, the President Bashar al-Assad's Syrian government and Russia have long pressured for the United States to leave al-Tanf and a 35-mile deconfliction zone around it, which the Pentagon says has had the side benefit of deterring Iranian activities in the area, the Journal noted.

However, leaving the base adds to concerns about a camp for about 50,000 displaced Syrians that lies within the zone, the Journal reported. 

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A remote base in southern Syria that has helped thwart Iran's foothold in the Middle East will not be taken over by Turkish forces expected to replace U.S. troops in northeastern Syria, according to The Wall Street Journal.
troops, withdrawal, al-tanf, turkey, civil war
195
2018-53-27
Thursday, 27 December 2018 07:53 PM
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