Has Deir ez-Zor turned into an arena of conflict for the US and Iran?

© AP Photo / Hussein Malla /

The United States looks in dismay at the horrors of what happened to its military bases in Deir ez-Zor. The strikes launched by Iran resulted in casualties among US forces, after which they responded with what it called precision strikes on the positions of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in al-Hasakah.

Afterward, the Iranian militias retaliated with seven missiles toward the American bases in the countryside of Deir ez-Zor.

How can this region turn into an open line of conflict between superpowers? The frequent US and Israeli air strikes have now turned it into a hotline of confrontation between multilateral forces on both sides of the Euphrates River.

The importance of the city of Deir ez-Zor lies in being the source of oil in Syria, where the al-Omar oil field in the province produces 550,000 barrels, which is the largest in the country, and the Conoco gas field, which is capable of producing 13 million cubic meters of natural gas.

Parties on different sides of the country such as the Washington-backed SDF forces on the eastern bank of Deir ez-Zor, and the international coalition forces are deployed in points, most notably the al-Omar field, called the Green Zone. On the western side, the al-Wardul-Taym crossings, are controlled by the regime forces. As for the border region, it is a vital route for Iraqi militias and the Lebanese Hezbollah to transfer weapons, fighters, and goods to Iraq.

There are three bases in which the international coalition forces are stationed, and the numbers indicate that there are 900 to 1,000 thousand American soldiers stationed in Syria – at the al-Tanf base at the Jordanian-Iraqi-Syrian border triangle, the al-Omar oil field in Deir ez-Zor, and al-Rumailan base in al-Hasakah.

According to the American side, the Iranians have carried out nearly 78 attacks on their points in Syria since 2021, and the means that were used varied, including drones missiles, and mortars.

Deir ez-Zor stands at the top of the list of importance due to its oil. An American official confirmed to al-Jazeera that two American military bases in Syria were subjected to new attacks by missiles and drones launched by Iranian forces. However, Iran denies these accusations and says that it will respond to any targeting of its sites in Syria.

Anadolu Agency reported the Pentagon announced last Thursday that an American contractor had been killed and five American servicemen were injured, as a result of being targeted by a drone installed at a base of the International Coalition in northeastern Syria.

The US delivered a clear message after a member of the US forces had been killed by the Iranian attacks, and after that, it conducted a series of air strikes on their sites threatening Tehran with a response that rarely occurs.


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