Syria war: US deploys reinforcements to Syria after Russia clashes
The US has ramped up its military presence in Syria after a number of skirmishes with Russian forces intensified tensions in the country. US officials said six Bradley Fighting Vehicles and about 100 troops were part of the deployment to north-east Syria.Incidents between US and Russian forces that patrol that part of the country have escalated this year. US Navy Captain Bill Urban said the move would “ensure the safety and security of Coalition forces”.He added that, alongside the fighting vehicles, which had been based in Kuwait, the US would also deploy a “Sentinel radar” and increase “the frequency of US fighter patrols over US forces”. “The United States does not seek conflict with any other nation in Syria, but will defend Coalition forces if necessary,” Mr Urban, a spokesman for US Central Command, said in a statement on Friday.Mr Urban did not mention Russia by name, but a separate statement from a US official, first reported by NBC News, was more pointed. “These actions and reinforcements are a clear signal to Russia to adhere to mutual de-confliction processes and for Russia and other parties to avoid unprofessional, unsafe and provocative actions in north-east Syria,” the unnamed US official said.
NBC News cited officials as saying the troops and vehicles were sent to deter Russian forces from entering a security area, where US coalition and Kurdish forces were operating.Over the years, there have been frequent interactions between US and Russian forces in Syria. But in recent weeks, incidents in north-east Syria have become increasingly belligerent. At the end of August, seven American soldiers were injured in a collision with a Russian vehicle. The Russian and US governments blamed each other for the collision, which was filmed and posted to Twitter.