US Has Sent 600 Trucks to East Syria in Two Months to ‘Secure Oilfields’

US continues to try to strengthen control over oil-rich area near Iraq

Pentagon officials recently said that around 500 to 600 US troops remain in northeast Syria, centering around the oilfields that President Trump has promised to keep. They said they didn’t expect more troops to arrive, but that doesn’t mean the US isn’t adding forces to the area.

Indeed, it seems at this point they’ve got a truck for every US soldier in Syria, with an estimated 600 trucks deployed to the oilfields in just the past two months, following Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s talk of strengthening “mechanized forces.”

It’s not clear what the US forces, and their many trucks, will actually be doing. There is no indication that this US-held territory is under any threat from anybody. Turkey is invading the Kurdish-held parts of the northeast, and that’s got most of the forces on alert in the region for something the US isn’t directly involved in.

Control over the oilfields is seen as important, being one of the few revenue streams for post-war Syria to rely on. President Trump has insisted the US will keep this oil, but there is no sign that any production is ongoing, and many doubt the site could produce enough for the US to even break even on the presence.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.