U.S. Invasion/Occupation of Syria Includes 14 U.S. Military Bases There

Eric Zuesse

Differing reports have been published regarding where in Syria the U.S. military occupation of that country are based; however, recent reports indicate that there are 14 bases for the U.S. invasion forces. Unfortunately, all of the reports are of such low quality that it’s not even clear whether the differing names of some of the alleged bases indicate different locations for them, or instead differ for other reasons. Furthermore, in most of the reports, some of the place-names that are used don’t show up on commonly available lists of Syrian cities, such as at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_in_Syria.

A map was published on 11 January 2018, at Israel’s https://www.debka.com/trump-flipflop-us-bases-stay-post-war-syria-blocking-russian-iranian-consolidation/, and it indicated 14 U.S. bases in Syria, as follows:

However, that map excludes half of Syria, and U.S. military bases have prominently been reported also to be in those other areas.

According to a news report that was originally published on January 10th in Russian, and translated into English two days later at The Saker’s website, the U.S. military invasion/occupation of Syria includes 14 military bases there, but no map was supplied, and the names of some of the alleged bases are different from those named on the above map. This Russian report is here republished (with some typos corrected), and will then be discussed:



Iranian intelligence has declassified data on 14 American bases in Syria


January 12, 2018


At the very end of last year on the 31st of December, the Pentagon once again acted out an intrigue around its military bases in Syria. US defence minister James Mattis warned that any attack on US bases would be repelled and the attackers would be punished.

The media agencies ‘Russia Today’ and ‘Sputnik’ proved the existence of 10 American military bases in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic. However, Iranian intelligence agencies have provided more detailed data, which suggests that there are 14 American bases in Syria, of which 12 are located in the north of the country and 2 in the south. What is more, Turkish media outlets have reported about the existence of 13 US arms depots in Kurd territories, which are located in close proximity to American bases.

1 The Dirik base

The Dirik base is the furthest-north point of American presence in Syria. It is located on the Turkish-Syrian border and includes two military bases from which groups of American paratroopers provide help to the Syrian Democratic Forces. The Dirik base also serves an airbase for American logistic flights.

2 The Sabakh-al-Khair base

The Sabakh-al-Khair base is located to the south-west of the city of Al-Hasakah and is especially important because of its proximity to the Syria-Iraq border. This base only holds American combat helicopters, which transport arms and assistance to the Syrian Kurds.

3 The Ayn-Issa base [Ayn Issah]

The Ayn-Issa base is located between the Turkish border and the Syrian city of Raqqa. It is from this base that arms and ammunition are supplied to troops of the Kurdish ‘Democratic Union Party’.

4 The Tal al-Saman base

The Tal al-Saman base is the second American base located between the Turkish border and Raqqa. It is the most important espionage and bugging station in Syria.

5 The Al-Tabka base

The Al-Tabka base is located to the south of Raqqa and serves as an airport for US aircraft.

6 The Al-Djalbiat base

The Al-Djalbiat base, which is located to the northwest of Raqqa, is the location of 40 modern military-logistical aircraft, a landing strip, launch platforms for several kinds of complex missile, and several other types of aircraft.

7 The Kharb Ishk base

The Kharb Ishik base is one of eight bases close to the northern border between Turkey and Syria. It holds American military units.

8 The Jebel Mashnur base

The Jebel Mashnur base is the most northern in Syria. Its defining feature is a radio relay used by American and French special forces.

9 The Sirin base

The Sirin base is located to the east of the city of Manbij. It is from this base that American paratroopers leave to execute various missions in Syria.

10-11 The Al-Tanf no. 1 and 2 bases

The two bases in Al-Tanf are shared by American and British forces, as well as soldiers from the new ‘Syrian Free Army’.

12 The Tal-Tamir base

The Tal-Tamir base is also used by British, American, and SFA forces. It is located in north-eastern Syria not far from the city of Al-Hasakah. 200 American and 70 French soldiers are located at the base, as well as training barracks for the FSA.

13 The Manbidj base

The Manbidj base has the most strategic importance as it is located in an area with a high risk of confrontations between the Kurds and the FSA. It appears that this base was opened in order to avert conflicts and prevent the area from being accessed by Syrian forces.

14 The Aleppo base

The Aleppo base was created in a strategic region to prevent conflict between the SFA and Kurd forces and to deny the area to Syrian forces. The Americans are planning to monitor the region from this base.

The presence of American military infrastructure in northern Syria is evidence, that the Americans are stabilising their position in the region for a long time. The bases’ geographical locations correspond with the widened territory of Syrian Kurdistan, the autonomy of which is secured by the Pentagon by deliveries of light and heavy armaments and military vehicles to the Kurds. The arming of Syrian Kurds and the breakaway of this territory corresponds to the new plan of proxy warfare to contain Iran in Syria and the eastern Mediterranean.

Source: Alena Bajowa, Курдский проект США: иранская разведка рассекретила 14 американских баз в Сирии, published on 11.01.2018 at Politikus.ru, accessible via: https://politikus.ru/events/103575-kurdskiy-proekt-ssha-iranskaya-razvedka-rassekretila-14-amerikanskih-baz-v-sirii.html

Translated from the Original Russian by Edvin Buday.


1. No “Dirik base” is indicated in other reports. But it’s probably “Derek” on the upper-right of this map:

That “Derek” is clearly in the Kurdish northwest of Syria, and would be a likely location for a U.S. occupation-force to arm and train the Kurdish mercenaries. Furthermore, if an American base is there, it would clearly be the most-northern of America’s Syrian bases, because it’s the most-northern of Syria’s cities. In 2012, Derek started to be taken over by its Kurds.

2. No “Sabakh-al-Khair base” is indicated in other reports. So, that’s a minus-1 from the 14.

3. “Ayn-Issah” is Ayn Issa on the map immediately above, located about 25 miles northwest of Raqqa, and at least the town (though not any base) is shown at http://wikimapia.org/3167302/Ayn-Issa. It’s likely to have a U.S. military base.

4. “Tal Saman” is a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF, Kurdish U.S.-paid mercenaries) held town 17 miles from Raqqa. It is straight north of Raqqa, so is clearly in U.S.-held territory (held by America’s Kurdish mercenaries who now control the north), and so also is likely to have a U.S. military base.

5. “Al-Tabka” had “The Battle of Al-Tabqa Airbase”, On 28 February 2017, the U.S. bombed and destroyed the air base there so that Kurdish forces could take it over. This is a likely U.S. military base now, if not a U.S. air base.

6. “Al-Djalbiat base” is probably the topic of the following subscription-only site’s 24 December 2017 comment “The al-Jalbiat base, located north-west of Raqqa, is a military no-go zone that houses 40 modern military logistics aircraft, an airport runway,” and so that alleged site is probably authentic.

7. “Khar Ishk” is probably “Harab Isk,” which Turkey had earlier claimed to contain a U.S.”helicopter base,” and it’s also shown as “Harab Isk” on the debka map that’s shown here at the top. 

8. “Jebel Mashnur” doesn’t show up anywhere. The description “The Jebel Mashnur base is the most northern in Syria” contradicts what the article says for the “Dirik base,” which if it exists, is in Derek, which is Syria’s most-northern town and clearly in U.S.-held teritory. So, that’s a minus-2 from the 14.

9. “Sirin base” “east of the city of Manbij” is, if it exists, in the city of Sarrin, shown on the map immediately above. That would be a likely location for U.S. military.

10-11. Al-Tanf has long been known to be U.S.-occupied. As I earlier reported, based mainly on Russian television, that U.S. base has been training anti-Assad mercenaries for some time, and one of them abandoned the program because the U.S. officials were secretly funneling some of their weaponry to ISIS. 

12. Tal-Tamir is almost certainly a U.S. base.

13. Manbij likewise is shown on the map immediate above and is almost certainly a U.S. base.

14. Aleppo Province contains Kobani, where on 12 March 2017, Massive convoy of US military vehicles heads to new base in northern Syria”. As that article correctly noted, “The Syrian Government has repeatedly demanded that the U.S. military pull out of Syria, as the latter has entered the country without Damascus’ approval.” The U.S. ignores the demand of the Syrian Government, which it’s aiming to overthrow.

On 4 July 2017, Russia’s https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201707041055229656-us-strengthens-presence-syria/ reported that “a senior representative of the Syrian Democratic Forces” Kurdish mercenaries for the U.S. in Syria, stated that “The US is setting up its military bases in the territories that were liberated from Daesh [ISIS] by our fighters during the fight against terrorism,” and “that earlier the US set up their bases in Kobani, Manbij, Hasakah, al-Shadadi and al-Hawl.” So, add back the minus-2, because al-Shadadi and al-Hawl weren’t listed among the 14.

Earlier still, on 25 January 2017, https://southfront.org/more-details-about-new-us-military-base-in-syria/ had reported that the U.S. was opening a new base and that it’s in Hasaka, “deploying 800 US servicemen.” Hasaka is shown on the Debka map of U.S. bases in Syria, but isn’t listed among the 14 U.S. bases alleged in the above article. So, now, the 14 have become 15 likely sites of U.S. military bases in Syria. 

The reason why the U.S. Constitutional provision that only Congress can declare war is now effectively removed from the U.S. Constitution and so the U.S. Executive (President) can execute practically anyone anywhere now, is that no lobby in Congress is bigger than America’s ‘Defense’ firms, which are represented not only by the biggest single lobbying group, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, but also by General Electric, Boeing, Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and others — basically by most of the major investment-firms. The ‘Defense’ firms constitute most of the 100 top contractors to the U.S. Government, and so their sales are largely to the U.S. Government, and those federal ‘Defense’ expenditures are now soaring even as all the rest of U.S. discretionary spending is being drastically cut. Whereas other types of firms don’t depend nearly so much on increasing the federal government’s budget, and can thus afford to see the federal budget reduced, ‘Defense’ firms depend like life-and-death on increasing the ‘Defense’ portion (which already is more than half) of that budget. So, since members of Congress don’t want to be officially on record as voting to invade a foreign country, it’s increasingly up to the U.S. President to do that dirty-work (Trump farms it out to the generals); and Syria is a big target of it because it’s one of Russia’s and Iran’s few remaining allies, and neoconservative doctrine (which pervades Washington) is to destroy all allies of either country — and Syria is allied with both Russia and Iran.

So: this is the way that the U.S. Constitution has become, on this as on so many other issues, just words, no longer binding upon America’s ‘democracy’.  Where there’s a will (to be fascist, or anything else), there will be found a way, if there’s enough lobbying-money spent on it (the American public don’t have that kind of clout); and, so, what the American public want is by now virtually irrelevant. (Do the American people want to conquer Syria? The CIA’s been trying to do it ever since 1949. Maybe America’s democracy ended in 1945 with FDR.)


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.