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US armored vehicles in Syria to guard oil fields

A convoy of US military vehicles drives through the Syrian northeastern town of Qahtaniyah on the border with Turkey on October 31, 2019. - US forces patrolled part of Syria's border with Turkey today in the first such move since Washington withdrew troops from the area earlier this month, an AFP correspondent reported. Five armoured vehicles bearing US flags patrolled a strip of the frontier north of the town of Qahtaniyah, an area they used to operate in before Washington announced its pullout. (Photo by Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP) (Photo by DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

SYRIA — The U.S. military says its first batch of mechanized armored vehicles have arrived in southeast Syria, where they are to take part in securing oil fields and fighting remnants of the Islamic State group.

U.S.-led Coalition spokesman Col. Myles Caggins said the first batch of Bradley armored infantry carriers have arrived Thursday in Deir el-Zour Province. The province is home to some of Syria’s largest oil fields. It is also where IS militants continue to wage an insurgency and where they lost their last territory in March.

Caggins said the mechanized forces — being deployed for the first time in Syria— provides infantry with maneuverability and firepower. He said the deployment is “de-conflicted” with other forces operating in the region.

A convoy of US military vehicles drives through the Syrian northeastern town of Qahtaniyah on the border with Turkey on October 31, 2019. – US forces patrolled part of Syria’s border with Turkey today in the first such move since Washington withdrew troops from the area earlier this month, an AFP correspondent reported. Five armoured vehicles bearing US flags patrolled a strip of the frontier north of the town of Qahtaniyah, an area they used to operate in before Washington announced its pullout. (Photo by Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP)

U.S. troops have begun withdrawing from northern Syria to reposition in the Deir el-Zour region, he said.

U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the troop withdrawal from the north ahead of a Turkish military offensive there earlier this month. Turkey is pushing to have Kurdish fighters moved away from its borders.

A vehicle part of a US military convoy drives through the Syrian northeastern town of Qahtaniyah on the border with Turkey on October 31, 2019. – US forces patrolled part of Syria’s border with Turkey today in the first such move since Washington withdrew troops from the area earlier this month, an AFP correspondent reported. Five armoured vehicles bearing US flags patrolled a strip of the frontier north of the town of Qahtaniyah, an area they used to operate in before Washington announced its pullout. (Photo by Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP)

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