The largest US military base in Syria, located in Al-Tanf on the border between Syria and Jordan, must be closed, the ruling Ba’ath party’s press service told Izvestia. Syria will demand a full departure by the US from its entire territory, and the base in the south of the Arab republic won’t be an exception.
There is still no direct contact between the US and Syrian government forces, and the mediation effort is being carried out by the Russian military, the Ba’ath party said.
The US Embassy told Izvestia citing a statement of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the American military would continue ensuring the security of the Syrian-Jordanian border near the base and the Rukban refugee camp.
Some US media reports said, citing Pentagon officials, that Washington plans to leave the base for some time or transfer it under the direct control of the Jordanian military.
But Damascus is against this scenario, the Ba’ath party said.
Chairman of Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament) Defense Committee and former Commander of the Russian Airborne Troops, Vladimir Shamanov told the paper that Turkey is another influential player, which is interested in gaining control over the US base.
“The Turks want this base to be turned over to their jurisdiction, and they are holding talks with the Americans. There have been no results so far or we do not know them yet,” the lawmaker explained. Another possible option is to preserve the base, leaving a small contingent of troops there.
Frants Klintsevich, a member of the Defense and Security Committee of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house), stressed that the US base was set up in Syria illegally and the Syrian leadership should demand the pullout of the entire US contingent from their soil.