US reinforces Syria base as clashes break out: reports

US reinforces Syria base as clashes break out with regime forces: reports
2 min read
02 April, 2018
Reinforcements are being rushed to a US base in northern Syria, which has reportedly come under fire from pro-regime forces, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
SDF forces captured Raqqa with US backing [AFP]

The US has reportedly rushed reinforcements to a base controlled by its allies the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in eastern Syria, following clashes with pro-regime militias nearby.

Vehicles carrying equipment have been arriving at al-Omar oilfield over the past two days, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Sunday evening, which it described as a "US military base".

The monitor said that SDF forces on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River have come under attack by pro-regime militias in the area in recent days.

This led US-backed forces at the al-Omar oilfield to return fire with "ground to ground missiles", but there have been no reports of casualties on either side.

US-led Operation Inherent Resolve and the US Central Command have not reported any clashes.

Al-Omar oil field was captured by the US-backed SDF from the Islamic State group last October.

The area remains tense with pro-regime militias also operating in the area and Damascus making it clear it wants to regain control of all of Syria.

Hundreds of pro-regime militiamen and Russian mercenaries were killed in US airstrikes in Deir az-Zour in February, when they attacked SDF forces at an oilfield.

In March, Washington said it carried out further airstrikes to "avert clashes" between the SDF and Russian mercenaries.

On Sunday, a previously unknown pro-regime militia reportedly attacked US forces in the Ain al-Issa area.

A video shared by the group shows fighters allegedly firing missiles at a US military base. It is still not clear if the group exists.

The news follows President Donald Trump's announcement last week that US forces would be pulled out of Syria.

US government agencies and the SDF have denied they have been formally instructed of a military withdrawal, which analysts warn could be disastrous. 

An American and British soldier were killed in a blast in the northern town of Manbij last week, which has become a flashpoint between the SDF and Turkey.