The US chief of staff visited a military base in Syria


General Mark Milley, the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US armed forces, made a surprise visit to a base in northeastern Syria where he met with US forces.

General Milley said, “The deployment of those forces to Syria nearly eight years ago to fight the ISIS is still worth the risk”.

Milley had flown to Syria to assess efforts to prevent a resurgence of the militant group and to review measures to protect US forces from attacks, including from drones launched by Iranian-backed militias.

The Islamic State (ISIS) has become just a relic of the organization that rules a third of Syria and Iraq in a caliphate it declared in 2014, but hundreds of its fighters remain stationed in uninhabited areas that neither the US-led coalition nor the Syrian army, which is backed by Russia and Iranian-backed factions, has control.

Thousands more ISIS fighters are in detention centers guarded by the Kurdish-led Syria Democrat Forces (SDF), the main US ally in Syria.

US officials said the ISIS could still rise to pose a significant threat.

When Milley was asked by journalists accompanied him, whether if he sees the deployment of about 900 American soldiers in Syria was worth the risk, Milley linked the mission to the security of the United States and its allies, saying, “If you think this is important, the answer is ‘yes, and I think it’s important… I think the enduring defeat of ISIS and continuing to support our friends and allies in the region… I think those are necessary tasks that can be done”.

In this context, Four US soldiers were wounded during a helicopter strike last month, in bombing carried out by an group of ISIS.

Last month, the US military shot down an Iranian-made drone in Syria that was attempting to conduct reconnaissance on a patrol base in northeastern Syria.

In January, three drones targeted a US base in the al Tanf base.

The US military said it shot down two drones while the third hit the compound, injuring two of Syrian opposition fighters associated with the US forces in the area.

On the other hand, the Syrian army is facing from time to time attacks by ISIS militants, as a group of ISIS fighters attacked on Saturday, locations belongs to the Syrian Army in the desert of the western countryside of Deir al Zour, before they withdrew to the depth of the desert after kidnapping a group of shepherds with their flocks.

A Syrian Army spokesman said, that units of the Syrian army repelled an attack launched by terrorists from ISIS organization in the town of al Masrib in the eastern countryside of Deir al Zour.

The ISIS terrorists were riding motorcycles and opened a barrage of fire at the Syrian army locations in the area, and the Syrian soldiers responded to the sources of fire, as violent clashes took place with the attacking groups.

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