If one understands the situation in Syria- One understands why it is the US is storing offensive weapons in Iraq. Allegedly ISIS is resurgent. The US has been convoying arms into the occupied area. Some from the Al Tanf base. Some from within US bases in Iraq.
This is a slightly older article from Brookings
Al Tanf is a tiny outpost (??not sure what defines tiny) near the tri-border region in southeast Syria straddling the Baghdad-Damascus highway. There is a token U.S. military presence along with a partner force, the Maghawir al-Thawra (previously called the New Syrian Army). Originally, the area was held by ISIS, but was occupied by friendly forces in early 2016. (Held by ISIS, rebranded into New Syrian Army, than rebranded again, but somehow magically morphing into a US base) In a deal brokered with the Russians, there was a 55-kilometer deconfliction zone circumscribed around the garrison, which is patrolled by Americans and their partners.
Currently, there are at least three justifications for sustaining the U.S. presence at Al Tanf: interdicting ISIS remnants, disrupting the Syrian economy and Iranian influence, and its potential for political leverage in negotiations.
“The recent visit of the military delegation to Ain al-Asad base revealed the presence of offensive equipment and weapons,” the official told the UK-based outlet before highlighting that “this is contrary to the agreement concluded in 2021, which allowed the presence of defensive weapons with the advisory task force.”
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, visited the base in Anbar province as part of a larger military delegation. This visit took place on 26 August, according to Iraqi media.
He also reported seeing an advanced radar system and monitoring equipment at the base, which served as the second largest US military airbase in Iraq during the illegal occupation of the country.
The official stressed that Baghdad intends to press the US on the issue, with special consideration given to US military movements in neighboring Syria. Over recent weeks, Iraq has seen a significant surge of US troops and military equipment, which
US planners say are “part of the exchange of existing forces” in Syria.
The US military took control of Ain al-Assad in 2003 following the illegal invasion and occupation of the country.
While Washington initially withdrew its forces in 2011 when the White House failed to secure a new Status of Forces (SOFA) agreement with former Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, US troops returned to the base under the pretext of training Iraqis to fight ISIS six months after the extremist group invaded and occupied Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, in June 2014.
Washington never withdrew it’s forces from Iraq in 2011- I’d covered this at the big tech censored site- Never happened. The simply re categorized them. As well as never withdrawing forces they used the ISIS pretext as a means to out Nouri al- Maliki. I recall this very well!
The situation in Syria has become more volatile as of late and the US is ready to act. They will intervene to keep their terror proxies in place and continue stealing Syrian resources. Long term the goal has been to break a big chunk of Syria off- connect it to Iraqi Kurdistan and get their greater Kurdistan/Israel 2.0 in order.