|Sputnik | Mar 19, 2018|
|© AFP 2018/ USAF|
Speaking to Sputnik reporter Suliman Mulhem, a Syrian analyst reported that a largescale US military operation is set to be launched against the Syrian Army near the Syria-Iraq border "very soon."
"The US is planning a large attack against the Syrian Army very soon to capture Syria's border with Iraq, especially near al-Tanf and perhaps even parts further inland," the analyst told Sputnik, citing informed military sources stationed near the al-Tanf US military base.
Reports of an upcoming escalation with the US are also circulating on social media.
US-led coalition is planing for an all in attack against the SAA very soon, the attack will be very large and aimed at capturing the border with Iraq and even possible positions near Homs-Damascus highway… almost full invasion like Iraq 2003— Within Syria (@WithinSyriaBlog) 18 марта 2018 г.
This military operation would strengthen the US' position in Syria and, depending on the scale of the attack, could result in US-backed forces seizing more oil fields in eastern and central Syria. US-backed militants already control around 70-80 percent of Syria's proven oil reserves.
Perhaps more importantly, this escalation could sever the strategic Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon land route, which will not only diminish Iran's ability to funnel funds and armaments to Hezbollah, but will also adversely affect Syria's ability to trade with Iraq and Iran, and could complicate Syria's post-war reconstruction plans.
Backed by the Russian Air Force (RuAF), the Syrian Army has made significant progress against hardline Islamist militants across the country, and is currently in the process of ousting militants from Damascus.
A military escalation by the US would undermine Syria's sovereignty, and threaten the progress the Syrian Army has made in stabilizing many parts of the country.
Tomorrow marks the 15th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq. As the country has been plagued by violence and instability ever since, it's not surprising that most Syrians are dreading the prospect of further US military involvement in Syria.