Radwan Ziadeh: A change in the American rules of engagement in Syria

The American forces in northeastern Syria intervened in the Deir Ezzor area to protect and defend their local ally, the Syrian Democratic Forces. An estimated 100 pro-regime fighters were killed in air and artillery strikes. What is interesting is that the region is rich with oil and gas fields that SDF now controls, which may point to a change in the American rules of engagement. Generally, American troops had devoted their efforts to training Kurdish and Syrian Arab tribes to help in the fight against the so-called Islamic State. Now that IS has been defeated, there may be a new mission for American troops in the future in that part of the country. This activism may also be seen as a signal to Turkey not to attack Kurdish forces in Manbij after ending its operation in Afrin.

Radwan Ziadeh is a Senior Analyst at Arab Center Washington DC. To learn more about Radwan and read his previous publications click here