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memri
September 23, 2019 No.
8288

Syrian Opposition Website Provides Details Of Locations Of U.S. Bases In Northern Syria

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On September 22, 2019, the Syrian opposition website Zamanalwsl posted a report providing details of the locations of U.S. bases in Syria and U.S. troop deployment in the region. The report emphasized bases in northern Syria that are situated near the Syria-Turkey border in an area controlled by Kurdish forces. The publication of this information may expose the bases to attack by hostile elements.

It should be noted that the website has previously published articles about foreign airbases in Syria.[1]

Zamanalwsl stated that its report, titled "Planning For A Long Stay: Exposing U.S. Bases Surrounding The Oilfields And Thwarting [The Plan To Establish] A Security Zone," is based on a study by an unnamed "specialized military researcher" on developments at U.S. bases in Syria. According to the report, these developments indicate that the U.S. intends to remain in the area for the long term and shows that it has no intention of keeping its promises to Turkey that it will help establish a security zone on the Syria-Turkey border.

The article provides details of the locations, manpower, and equipment of the U.S. bases, as well as information about each one's mission, and includes maps and satellite photos. The Zamanalwsl YouTube channel also posted a five-minute video report on the bases, titled "Up-To-Date Aerial Photos Of U.S. Bases Show Their Expansion At The Expense Of The [Planned] Security Zone."[2]

The following is Zamanalwsl's English translation of the article:[3]

"Planning For A Long Stay: Exposing U.S. Bases Surrounding The Oilfields And Thwarting [The Plan To Establish] A Security Zone" Zamanalwsl, September 22, 2019

"Over the past two years, 2018-2019, U.S. bases (coalition forces) and other forces in Syria have undergone significant changes in one of the following areas:

  • "Establishing new bases that did not exist before.

  • "Expanding and consolidating some older bases.

  • "Definitive evacuation of certain bases.

  • "Moving some bases to different areas.

"This report includes details of developments in the U.S. bases in northern Syria, and in the area currently controlled by the U.S.-backed Kurdish YPG militia, in light of Turkey's desire to establish a safe zone within the Syrian border extending for tens of kilometers.

"Turkey's urgent desire to establish a safe zone within Syrian borders will be hampered by the positions of these bases, some of which are only a few kilometers from the border, some of which have been built relatively recently. "Therefore, the American promise to Turkey to cooperate in establishing such an area is merely a political exercise to buy time.

"In fact, these bases reveal that America is preparing for a long-term stay in Syria, and will not leave in the near future, as President Donald Trump claimed recently.

"It is worth mentioning that some of the new bases are not bases in the military sense, but more like 'civil administration' centers.

"Most of the major oil and gas fields currently have small bases of up to 50 U.S. troops securing them.


Map of the bases' locations (Source: Zamanalwsl, September 22, 2019)

"The Locations Of American Bases [And Developments At Them]:

"New Heemo base west of Qamishli city: This base is located west of the city of Al-Qamishli near the village of Heemo, four kilometers from the Turkish border and five kilometers from Al-Qamishli airport, where the [Syrian] regime forces are based.

"It is mainly concerned with the administration of the area, which is completely controlled by the Kurds and has a predominantly civil organizational nature of the Kurdish state to be established. The task of this huge base is to provide all kinds of administrative and technical support to the Syrian Democratic Forces and its civilian administration.

"It was established in 2018, slowly expanding, with warehouses and other sub-centers close to the area.


New Heemo base

"New construction at the U.S. Tal Baydar base: U.S. forces are currently constructing and expanding new facilities inside the U.S. base at Tal Baydar, including expanding the old airstrip to about 900m. Construction is still going on at the moment, and at this length the runway is sufficient for landing all types of cargo aircraft and various warplanes. This base is 30 kilometers from the Turkish border.


New construction at Tal Baydar base (Source: Zamanalwsl, September 22, 2019)


Previous photo from 2017 (Source: Zamanalwsl, September 22, 2019)

"New Jabal (Mount) Al-Ghoul Base: A relatively new base, which was completed in 2018, includes an airstrip and a support camp, as well as being a logistical headquarters. It is the most secretive base, both in terms of the size of the troops and the function assigned to them. The runway is 1,800 meters long, the base is semi-fixed, 30 km from the Turkish border.


New Jabal Al-Ghoul base (Source: Zamanalwsl, September 22, 2019)

"New base in Khabur west of Hasaka (as a replacement to Life Stone Resort base): Troops were relocated west of Hasaka, where the airbase at the Life Stone resort was evacuated from aircraft and helicopters, while some ground troops remained.

"A new base was established to the south, near the Khabur Dam. This new base contains ground and air support forces, in addition to a number of support and landing helicopters.


Life Stone Resort base (Source: Zamanalwsl, September 22, 2019)


New base in Khabur (Source: Zamanalwsl, September 22, 2019)

"Shadadi Base: One of the largest American bases in Syria, established by the U.S. army forces after Daesh (ISIS) was expelled from the town of Shadadi; it is a focal point for the U.S.strike forces there. It includes a camp for Marines as well as an airbase of eight attack helicopters, in addition to being a logistics base for U.S. ftroops and Kurdish forces operating there. The base extends for four kilometers and two kilometers in width.

"The Americans have deliberately set up the base near the most important oil fields in the region, Al-Jabsa and Kubaiba.


Shadadi base (Source: Zamanalwsl, September 22, 2019)

"A major alteration of the shared base in Lafarge Cement Factory: This year, Coalition forces have significantly expanded the base at Lafarge Cement Plant, which is currently the largest base for U.S. and Coalition forces in military and logistical terms, with eight helicopters and six French helicopters in the base, forming a large strike force.

"Some call it Kharab Ashiq base in reference to the nearby village, only 20 km from the Turkish border.


Lafarge Cement Factory (Source: Zamanalwsl, September 22, 2019)

"Significant expansion of the logistics base at Ain Issa: Since the beginning of this year, the Americans have expanded the base of Ain Issa over a very large area. The base is dedicated to logistical support and various logistics operations, affiliated with several separate and spaced centers surrounding it as ammunition and logistics depots.


Expansion of base at Ain Issa (Source: Zamanalwsl, September 22, 2019)

"Mobilizing additional forces at Tal Al-Saman base north of Raqqa: Tal Al-Saman base is located north of Raqqa and was established in 2017. It features a helipad for warplanes and fixed-wing transport aircraft, in addition to being a large military base, with the U.S. forces recently transferring a large number of ground forces and armored vehicles. The base is also a center for surveillance, spying, and jamming.


Updated photo of Tal Al-Saman (Source: Zamanalwsl, September 22, 2019)

"Herqla base west of Raqqa: It was expanded over the past year to become a U.S. military base. It is more of a civil administration for the administrative work of the Kurdish forces supervised by U.S. forces.


Herqla base (Source: Zamanalwsl, September 22, 2019)

"New Bersan base southwest of Mahmudli town: Established in 2018 and located south of the town of Bersan, north of Tabqa. It is a headquarters for the U.S. artillery forces, in addition to being a logistics center for the forces deployed near that area.


New Bersan base (Source: Zamanalwsl, September 22, 2019)

"Expansion of the base near Al-Hakko village: The base is one of the largest U.S. bases in Syrian, located north of the town of Sarrin, and contains a landing pad for fixed-wing aircrafts. It includes a camp for ground forces and landing and support forces, in addition to logistics headquarters.

"Several warehouses affiliated with the base were recently built outside the base, inside the villages and towns surrounding the area.


Updated photo of base near Al-Hakko (Source: Zamanalwsl, September 22, 2019)

"New base southwest of Manbij: Once a very small base, but in the light of tension and friction in the region between different parties (Kurds – [Syrian] regime – Turkey – Iran), U.S. forces expanded it significantly to support the Kurdish forces, block the road on all sides, and resolve the conflict in favor of the Kurds. It was established Southwest of Manbij near the main road between Al Bab and Manbij.

"This base is about 28 km from the Turkish border.


New base southwest of Manbij (Source: Zamanalwsl, September 22, 2019)

"New U.S. base north of Manbij (Al-Dadat): Located north of Manbij, about 9 km near the town of Dadat, has been expanded significantly over the past two years, 17 km away from the Turkish border. In April 2019, it was supplied with an air balloon for surveillance.


New base north of Manbij (Source: Zamanalwsl, September 22, 2019)


Surveillance balloon similar to ones at new base (Source: Zamanalwsl, September 22, 2019)

"Other Bases:

"In addition to the above, there are several American bases that are relatively smaller in scale:

  • "Al-Tanf Base: a joint British and U.S. base located on the Syrian-Jordanian-Iraqi border triangle.
  • "Abu Hajar Heliport near Rumailan: for the protection of the Rumailan fields.
  • "Kharab Al-Jir landing pad near Malikiyah in the far northeast.
  • "U.S. bases with small forces with around 50 U.S. soldiers in each base (Malikiyah - Ain al-Arab, and Tal Abyad and others).
  • "U.S. Marines inside SDF camps for training, planning and supervision.
  • "U.S. forces inside Koniko gas factory near Deir Ezzor
  • "Small forces in the Omar field.
  • "Al-Mabrouka Base: Near the Turkish border, a small base comprising only about 100 U.S. soldiers.


Abu Hajar Heliport

"Eight years of war in Syria have killed 560,000 people and driven half the pre-war population of 22 million from their homes, including more than six million as refugees to neighbouring countries."

 

[1] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7286, Studies By Arab Researchers Of Distribution Of Foreign Bases Across Syria, January 18, 2018.

[2] Youtube.com/watch?v=uVgSGfgGRqI, September 22, 2019.

[3] En.zamanalwsl.net, September 22, 2019. The English has been very lightly edited for clarity.