SAA troops in Tal Tamr. (Photo credit: DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP)
On 7 January, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) prevented a US military convoy from entering the town of Qabr al-Gharajneh in eastern Hasakah governorate, located 10 kilometers away from the strategic Tal Tamr city.
Field sources who spoke with Sputnik Arabic say that an SAA checkpoint intercepted the US troops, forcing them to withdraw and retreat to the Tal Baydar base in areas controlled by the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
This marks the third time in a month that SAA troops, with the help of local residents, have succeeded in stopping US troops in the vicinity of Tal Tamr.
“The Syrian army’s barriers, in cooperation with the residents of the area from the Arab tribes in the villages of Qabr Al-Gharajneh, Sheikh Ali, Mazraat Shweish, and Al-Dardara, succeeded in preventing the US army convoys for the third time in a row within less than a month from entering [government controlled] areas,” the sources said.
Last month, Turkish media reported that US troops illegally stationed in northern and eastern Syria tried to force their way into government-controlled areas “dozens of times” since October.
According to the reports, US military convoys intensified their efforts to enter the district of Qamishli, which sits on the Syrian-Turkish border, in order to “put pressure” on the SAA and allied militias who have regained control of the area from rebel groups.
The move by Washington’s forces coincided with Russian-sponsored talks between the government of President Bashar al-Assad and US-backed Kurdish militias active in the region.
Just one day prior to this latest confrontation between the SAA and US troops, Washington ordered its forces to withdraw from Al-Tanf military base in southern Syria over fears that it could be targeted by resistance groups.
Local sources have reported that US troops and equipment have been moved from Al-Tanf across the border into Jordan. It is not yet clear how long US troops will remain in Jordan.