A spokesperson for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has told Al-Jazeera that US troops have taken control of the Rmeilan airfield in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah. This is supposedly to assist the mostly Kurdish SDF in their fight against ISIS.
The airfield would become the first US-controlled airbase in Syria, however, by illegal means and no coordination with Damascus.
It is strategically located near the border with Iraq and Turkey in the northeastern tip of Syria.
“Under a deal with the YPG, the US was given control of the airport. The purpose of this deal is to back up the SDF, by providing weapons and an airbase for US warplanes,” Taj Kordsh, a media activist from the SDF told Al Jazeera on Tuesday.
“This airport was previously controlled by the YPG for over two years now. This strategic airport is close to several oil bases – one of the biggest in this area.
“Rmeilan airport was previously used for agricultural purposes by the Syrian government,” he said.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor also reported on Tuesday that the US had taken control of the airbase.
Sourcing activists, the Observatory said the airfield is still being prepared for use by the US.
These reports are yet to be confirmed by the United States.