The US is sending additional forces into Syria after a series of incidents between US and Russian troops in the country, according to three unnamed Pentagon officials speaking to NBC News. The force will consist of six Bradley Fighting Vehicles and fewer than 100 soldiers, who will be operating in northeast Syria on a 90-day deployment.
The US-led anti-ISIS coalition Operation Inherent Resolve said that the Bradley Fighting Vehicles arrived in eastern Syria on Friday.
The unnamed officials told NBC that the additional soldiers and vehicles will serve as a “show of presence” to discourage Russia from entering the eastern security zone where US forces and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces operate.
US troops have had multiple encounters with the Syrian government and Russia inside Syria throughout the year. Some of the more serious confrontations occurred last month.
One incident took place on August 17th at a Syrian army checkpoint and resulted in US attack helicopters firing on the position, killing at least one Syrian soldier. A few days after the checkpoint incident, US and Russian military vehicles collided, injuring at least seven US soldiers.
US commanders blame the encounters on Moscow and Damascus, but while the US maintains its presence in the country against the will of the Syrian government, confrontations are bound to happen. These additional forces will only make similar incidents more likely.