Syria is in fire ahead of the deep political crisis in the United States and the upcoming inauguration of neo-liberal President elect Joe Biden. Israel has been trying to exploit last days of the Trump presidency to cause as much damage to its arch-enemy Iran as possible, while the United States and Russia are reportedly regrouping their forces on the battlefield.
Early on January 13, the Israeli Air Force with the assistance from the United States carried out a large-scale strike on ‘Iranian-affiliated targets’ in eastern Syria. The intense bombing hit the countryside of the cities of Deir Ezzor, al-Mayadin and al-Bukamal.
Meanwhile, the United States reinforced its troops deployed in the Omar oil fields area with artillery pieces and military equipment. US forces together with their local proxies regularly conduct drills there. Taking into account that the US war on ISIS in the current conditions is mostly a farce to justify the occupation of northeastern Syria, they are apparently preparing for something.
Also, the incoming administration of Biden is in any way interested in the withdrawal of troops from Syria. Instead, it is expected to be full of people supporting the further occupation and even military escalation.
The Russians are also regrouping their forces. Additionally to naval and air bases in Syria, Moscow has a permanent naval group in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. This group consists of at least 10 ships. On January 11, the Russian landing ship tank Saratov also passed through Bosphorus towards the Mediterranean. Likely the ship carries supplies, equipment and weapons for the Russian military force and its allies in Syria.
- On January 13, Israeli warplanes targeted positions of the SAA and Iranian-backed forces near Al-Bukamal, al-Mayadin, and Deir Ezzor;
- On January 12, artillery of Turkish-backed forces shelled SDF positions near Ain Issa;
- On January 12, the SDF and US-led coalition held a military exercise at the Conoco base;
- On January 12, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham carried out a security operation against ISIS cells in the vicinity of Kafr Takharim;
- On January 13, Russia reported that Idlib militants violated the ceasefire regime in Greater Idlib 27 times: 10 – in Idlib province, 10 – in Latakia province, 4 – in Hama province, 3 – in Aleppo province.
Summing up, the period of the Trump-announced troop withdrawal from Syria is nearing its end and the country prepares to enter the era of neo-liberal interventionism under the patronage of the Biden administration.