US-led coalition against Islamic State building new base in northern Syria

US-led coalition against Islamic State building new base in northern Syria
The US-led coalition against the Islamic State group will build a new base in the northern Syrian province of Raqqa, sources close to a coalition partner force have said.
2 min read
24 May, 2023
The US maintains a military presence in parts of Syria [Getty/archive]

The US-led global coalition against the Islamic State group in Syria has started to build a new military base in the northern province of Raqqa as the militant group continues to carry out attacks in the country.

The base will be in the Al-Suwaidiyeh area west of the city of Tabqa, a source close to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, a local partner of the coalition, told The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

Plans for the new base come as coalition forces began a few weeks ago to equip a base just south of the city of Raqqa, the source told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

Currently, the largest base housing US troops in Syria is the Al-Omar field. There are currently at least 24 US-led coalition military sites spread throughout Syria’s northeast.

The US says its military is stationed in the country to fight against the remnants of IS.

Raqqa was IS' de-facto capital during its self-proclaimed caliphate, which covered large swathes of Syria and neighbouring Iraq. The coalition pushed the militants out of all territories it controlled in eastern and northern Syria in 2019.

But the extremist group’s sleeper cells continue to carry out attacks, targeting military and security personnel and civilians.

On Wednesday, at least three soldiers in the Syrian regime army were killed in an attack believed to have been conducted by IS in the Syrian desert between the Homs and Raqqa provinces.

The soldiers  were attacked by "unknown persons" at their military checkpoint in the Maadan area, east of Raqqa, local sources told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed. The sources said members of the Russian mercenary group Wagner were killed in the same area two days ago by militants believed to belong to IS.

Russian jets bombed sites in the Al-Resafa desert, southeast of Raqqa, following Wednesday’s attack against the Syrian soldiers, said the sources, who wished to remain anonymous.

Moscow has backed the Syrian regime since at least 2015 in the country’s brutal conflict which has killed over 500,000 people and displaced millions.

The Syrian regime’s Al-Watan newspaper reported on Wednesday that regime forces carried out operations against IS in the Badia (Syrian desert), claiming to have killed "many of them".