The head of the Pentagon Mark Esper reported in Brussels.
The United States will strengthen its military presence in Syria with armored forces to prevent Islamic State militants from seizing oil fields. Mark Esper, the US Secretary of Defense, announced on Friday.
“We are now taking some action… to strengthen our position in Deir El-Zor and to guarantee our ability to prevent ISIS from gaining access to the oil fields,” Esper said during a press conference in Brussels today.
“We are strengthening this position, this will include armored units,” – said the head of the Pentagon. Esper did not specify how many troops are now in the region, nor did he say how many troops will be transferred there.
The vacuum created by the partial withdrawal of the US military from North-Eastern Syria at the initiative of President Donald Trump allowed Russia to enter the region with its troops. US administration officials fear that Syrian militants, who have the support of Iran, may also exploit the chaos.
According to Esper, his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar told him that Ankara had detained about a hundred ISIS fighters who could have escaped from prison in Syria as a result of the Turkish invasion.
Esper met with Akar on Friday in Brussels during a meeting of NATO defense ministers. On Thursday, the allies discussed the situation in Syria, including Germany’s proposal to form a patrol of NATO countries to protect the “security zone” in northeastern Syria.