In recent months, anti-American sentiments among the Syrians have noticeably intensified in Syria, demanding the withdrawal of the US Army from this country. The growth of these sentiments is due not only to the continuing illegal export of Syrian oil by the United States to Iraq, as regularly reported by the Syrian Arab news agency SANA and from the UN rostrum by the official Syrian authorities. An increasing number of leaders of Arab tribes and clans in eastern Syria, whose members were killed for their political views and beliefs against the illegal occupation of their country by American troops and their Kurdish allies, join the anti-American protests.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) estimates that during the ten years of war in Syria 36% of the country’s 18 million inhabitants have lost their homes, 6.6 million people have become internal refugees, and 13.4 million people require humanitarian assistance. More than 5.6 million people have left Syria since 2011. The ongoing war in Syria is mainly due to the participation of international players, above all the USA.
The use of the US Army and mercenaries to support neo-colonial targets has become the standard of US behavior. And this is especially clearly visible in the actions of Washington in Syria, where the United States, not only relying on the US army and thousands of private military companies (PMCs), continues to plunder this country, its energy resources, artefacts and any property of the Syrian Arab Republic. But, demonstrating their rights as a colonizer, they dictate to whom and how they allow contacting the official authorities of Damascus.
At the same time, the list of crimes committed by the US military in Syria is increasing every day, making it inevitable that they are recognized outside the law by the world community.
For example, at the end of December, the Syrian Foreign Minister said in an interview with the Syrian state TV channel Suria that the United States and its allied forces held more than 57,000 refugees in the Al-Hol camp in northern Syria, including 30,000 children. The Syrian authorities have repeatedly demanded Europe to return them to their countries.
The Al-Tanf region of the country, controlled by the Americans, has become a gray zone where militant camps of sorts operate, which, in turn, hide behind camps of civilian refugees experiencing hardship and lack of everything, including food, water, and medicine. For example, former militants of the Shumar tribe, who live in the east of Al-Suwayda Governorate, went to the Syrian Arab Armed Forces as part of the measures taken by official Damascus to establish peace in the country. It was reported that mainly refugees enter the terrorist group Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawra (banned in the Russian Federation) because of the plight in the refugee camp located in the Et-Tanf. The Americans distribute this humanitarian aid exclusively between the militants, which is not enough for them either. And so it has been for more than one year. For participation in the activities of terrorist groups, about $400 is paid, which is a very decent amount by Syrian standards.
Having established itself in a strategically important place, the US army ignores the demands of the legitimate authorities of Syria to leave the country. They continue their military activity, and any vehicle that does not belong to the “friendly USA” side, any crowd of people moving in an undesirable direction for the USA, everything is fired upon and destroyed.
In December, The New York Times told about the crimes of the US Army in Syria, hundreds of civilians killed, and the complete impunity of the actions of the elite US Army Special Forces “Delta.” According to the American publication, the unit’s fighters were part of the secret Talon Anvil group; from 2014 to 2019, they directed attack drones to targets in Syria and became guilty of substantial civilian casualties.
There has been no meaningful reaction on the part of the international community to the Syrian authorities’ repeated calls to put an end to the United States’ lawlessness and plundering of the country. This failure has, in recent years, prompted the development of armed popular resistance to Washington’s policies, just as it did in Afghanistan and in Iraq. This confrontation has already turned into an anti-American guerrilla movement.
In particular, this became especially evident in armed attacks on US military bases in Syria, which increasingly began to be subjected to missile attacks and drone attacks. So, the largest US base on the Syrian territory of Et-Tanf has recently become the target of several drone attacks. Drones change tactics and approach with each attack. The latest attack, involving what might be called a swarm core, was challenging to repel with basic US anti-aircraft and anti-drone systems. Some drones even managed to fire projectiles at vital targets such as fuel depots, command posts, retrodictive antennas, radars, etc., without detecting interception systems.
To block the export by the United States of Syria’s national property abroad and limit the activities of the American military, the population of Syria periodically blocks the path of the American army and forces them to change the route. Sometimes this happens with the support of the Syrian Arab Army.
For such actions by the Syrians, the soldiers of the US occupation forces in the Syrian Arab Republic began to lose their nerves. They freaked out and started to inflict airstrikes. For example, on January 4, the international coalition led by the United States attacked positions in the Deir ez-Zor Governorate in northeastern Syria, from where the American military base had been attacked earlier in the area.
In these conditions, the peace in Syria is becoming more fragile. At any moment, another wave of armed conflict in this country may begin with an attempt to forcefully expel the American military from this country.
Therefore, an objective reaction of the UN and the international community to suppress the activities of the US occupation forces illegally staying in Syria and their quickest withdrawal from this country is long overdue. And only such a reaction can save the region from another armed conflict and bring the long-awaited peace to the people of Syria.
Vladimir Danilov, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.