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Syria Is Worried About US Military Incursions — But They Probably Won't Come From Jordan

Russia Insider's Damascus correspondent examines reports about US forces massing in Jordan

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

According to reports, a SAA-operated UAV captured footage of a large military buildup believed to be ~43km inside Jordan south of its border with Syria; images of the footage were released by various media outlets. 

Those images show a large buildup of light and heavy equipment including tanks and APCs, and are claimed by the publisher to be US and UK special forces aided with heavy armor alongside Jordanian military presence. According to the publishers themselves, these forces were on standby and waiting orders to initiate a military operation deep inside Syrian territories. 

<figcaption>SAA advancing with 9K35 Strela-10 in tow</figcaption>
SAA advancing with 9K35 Strela-10 in tow

However, the story just doesn't add up. 

The mentioned camp is in fact one of the largest armor depots of the Jordanian Army, near the Jordanian city of Az-Zarqa, which is located ~48 km away from its border with Syria. 

By doing a small comparison between the available satellite images and the claimed images taken by the drone, the following can be observed:

Most of the armor at the camp have not been moved since at least 2015, so most likely that camp has nothing to do recent US interest in deploying troops to southern Syria to fight ISIS. 

Also, if the mentioned camp really had US and/or UK troops, how could a drone fly ~48 km into Jordanian airspace, capture the images and leave undetected? Keeping in mind of course that Jordanian airspace has been under US protection since early 2012, when Jordan asked the US to deploy Patriot missiles and F-16s.

Damascus is still worried about US incursions in Syria. But the threat will likely come from the air. 

The Syria Arab Army recently launched a large scale operation to reach the Iraqi border from the Damascus Baghdad highway, where US-backed and trained militias are deployed, specifically in an area called al-Tanaf.

Notably, the latest reports coming from Lebanese al-Manar TV revealed that Syrian troops participating in the operation are being covered by a number of 9K35 Strela-10 short range anti-air systems. The deployment of such systems by the Syrian command can only be understood as sign of absolute lack of trust between the Syrian Command and the US-led coalition.

Which is understandable since the US-led coalition killed more than 80 Syrian soldiers in Der al-Zoor in what was claimed to be 'an accident'. 

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