Factbox: Overseas armies in Syria and the way they got here to be there

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Sept 15 (Reuters) – Turkey’s intelligence chief has held a number of conferences along with his Syrian counterpart in Damascus in the previous few weeks, an indication of Russian efforts to foster a thaw between states on reverse sides of the Syrian struggle, 4 sources stated. learn extra

Turkey is certainly one of a number of international states with troops in Syria. This is a abstract of the primary armies on the bottom and the way they received there:


Iran deployed its elite Revolutionary Guards as early as 2012 to assist its ally, President Bashar al-Assad, counter rebels preventing to topple him.

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Tehran has all the time described Iranian forces as taking part in an advisory function on the Damascus authorities’s invitation. However lots of of Iranians have been killed.

Alongside Iranians, Shi’ite Islamist teams backed by Tehran have performed a significant fight function. Spearheaded by Lebanon’s Hezbollah, they’ve included teams from Afghanistan and Iraq.

Iranian-backed forces have a presence throughout a lot of government-held Syria, together with on the Iraqi border.

Israel has mounted air strikes concentrating on Iranian and Iran-backed forces.


The U.S. navy intervention in Syria started in 2014 with air strikes in opposition to the Islamic State jihadist group that had declared its rule over a 3rd of Syria and Iraq.

An initially small contingent of U.S. particular forces deployed to Syria, working with a Kurdish-led power, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), preventing to drive Islamic State from areas it had captured in Syria’s north and east.

Declaring the battle with Islamic State virtually received, President Donald Trump introduced in 2018 he needed to drag out U.S. troops.

However the plan was softened inside a 12 months after dealing with criticism for leaving a void that Iran and Russia would fill.

U.S. forces stay in Syria and proceed to assist the SDF.

U.S. troops are additionally stationed at Syria’s Tanf garrison close to the intersection of the borders of Jordan and Iraq, the place they assist a Syrian insurgent power.

Assad’s authorities views the U.S. forces as occupiers.


Turkey has mounted 4 operations in Syria since 2016, and has forces on the bottom within the north the place it backs rebels.

Its first incursion focused each Islamic State and the Syrian Kurdish YPG – a part of the SDF – which is seen by Ankara as a safety risk due to hyperlinks to the Kurdistan Staff’ Social gathering, which has been waging an insurgency in Turkey since 1984.

Turkey’s presence expanded in 2017 when it struck a take care of Russia and Iran that resulted in Turkish forces deploying at 12 positions within the northwestern Idlib area, an space largely managed by anti-Assad jihadists.

This was adopted in 2018 by an offensive concentrating on SDF-controlled Afrin, and one other incursion in 2019 into SDF territory between the border cities of Ras al Ain and Tel Abyad.

The next 12 months Turkey poured 1000’s of troops into the Idlib area to stem an offensive by Russia-backed Syrian authorities forces concentrating on rebels supported by Ankara.

Damascus views Turkey as an occupying energy.


Russia deployed warplanes in Syria in 2015, establishing an air base in Latakia province from the place it carried out an air marketing campaign that tilted the battle Assad’s means.

Coordinated with Iran, the deployment expanded a Russian navy presence courting to the Chilly Battle, when the Soviet Union established a naval base on the Syrian Mediterranean port of Tartus.

Whereas their essential function has been air energy, Russian forces even have a presence on the bottom in government-held areas, with Russian navy police deploying throughout makes an attempt to de-escalate preventing. learn extra

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Writing by Tom Perry; enhancing by Dominic Evans and Mark Heinrich

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.