U.S. forces have bolstered their presence in Syria’s northeastern provincial capital of Hassakeh, local media aligned with the Syrian government reported over the weekend. Syrian towns
Hassakeh is a stronghold of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a predominantly Kurdish group of militias backed by the United States that played a key role in territorially defeating Islamic State (ISIS).
An American convoy of at least six vehicles and trucks flanked by a helicopter escort entered the city from the south, Syrian state news agency SANA reported on Saturday.
SANA said the SDF had seized a number of houses in Ghweiran, a Hassakeh neighbourhood, and kidnapped multiple local residents in a section of the neighbourhood containing housing for local police officers, as well as youth housing in the nearby Al-Zuhour neighbourhood.
Al-Masdar cited local residents as saying the SDF and U.S. forces have occupied key buildings in Hassakeh city, including the local electricity provider, grain storage facilities, multiple government offices, banks, schools and a local prison containing ISIS inmates.
Separately, a U.S. convoy consisting of 30 refrigerator trucks and tankers with a military escort entered Syria from Iraq, where the U.S. maintains a sizable military presence, heading to Qamishli, another SDF stronghold, SANA reported on Sunday, citing civilian sources in Al-Swedeya village.
The SDF-held cities of Hassakeh and Qamishli are located near the Turkish border, where Turkey is attempting to create a buffer zone to push back Syrian Kurdish militias it deems as an offshoots of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an outlawed organisation that has been fighting an armed insurgency against the Turkish state for four decades. Syrian towns