US to redeploy troops to Syrian oil fields

This appeared in The Millennial Source

The Millennial Source
5 min readNov 5, 2019


On October 24, US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper revealed at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) press conference in Brussels that the US would redeploy troops to oil fields in North-Eastern Syria in order to defend them from ISIS.

The announcement from Esper, who has been US Defence Secretary since July 2019 and previously served as United States Secretary of the Army, is a reversal of President Trump’s earlier command to withdraw all US troops from Syria and represents another fluctuation in rapidly shifting US foreign policy in Syria.

Details of the redeployment

Esper confirmed that there would be a US military presence at the oil fields in North-East Syria. The redeployment will include troops previously scheduled to leave Syria as well as ‘mechanized forces,’ which may include armored vehicles and tanks.

The redeployment of the forces will supplement the existing force of approximately 200 lightly armed troops already stationed at the oil fields. “We are now taking some actions to strengthen our position and to ensure that we can deny ISIS access to the oil fields,” Esper added.

Alongside the objective of guarding the oil fields against ISIS, Esper also claimed that a US presence would benefit the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) by giving them access to the revenue and resources involved with the oil fields.

“We want to make sure that SDF does have access to those resources in order to guard the prisons, in order to arm their own troops in order to assist us with the defeat ISIS mission,” Esper explained.

When making the announcement, which came moments after President Trump tweeted that the troops were coming home, the US Secretary of Defence did not divulge the number of troops that would remain in Syria.

The Wall Street Journal reported that as many as 500 soldiers could remain, which USA Today confirmed by reporting that US armored vehicles and 500 infantry troops have arrived in eastern Syria.

Alongside additional troops stationed at the oil fields, Trump suggested that US companies could control and manage the



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