US Marine Corps M-ATV
Images of United States Marine Corps M-ATV purportedly in northern Syria were published on Twitter on March 11.
#Kurds in #Rojava thank America for supporting them with weapons pic.twitter.com/ozyupFTdfc
— Mustafa Abdi (@mustefaebdi) March 11, 2017
In one image, the identifier “USMC 650923” is visible on one vehicle.
US equipment near Qamishli
The SDF Arabic press office published images on Twitter on March 13 that it says are of armoured vehicles and heavy equipment in Syria to support its Wrath of the Euphrates operation focused on the liberation of Raqqa.
#الرقة عاجل: صور مدرعات ومعدات عسكرية ثقيلة امريكية تصل الى حملة "غضب الفرات" لدعم عملية تحرير الرقة #داعش pic.twitter.com/jp1bDlJPWn
— قوات سوريا من الجبهة (@QSD_Jabha) March 13, 2017
These are cropped versions of images that were published on the Vedeng website on March 10. Commenters on the Syrian Civil War subreddit say these vehicles have US Marine Corps markings.
Images of US heavy equipment being transported in northern Syria started to appear on March 9:
#US equipment and artillery passing through #Qamishli city in #Syria.pic.twitter.com/sEUBOPsxEg
— Aldin 🇧🇦 (@aldin_ww) March 9, 2017
In late February, other images of heavy US military equipment in Transit were shared on Twitter:
Spotted in #Rojava military equipment on its way to #SDF after several visits of US high officials to #Kobani #twitterkurds
via @rod_sad pic.twitter.com/YjaClePOYW
— Dlshad othman (@dlshadothman) February 24, 2017
US armoured vehicles video
A tweet was published on March 12 with a low-quality video taken from Facebook of US armoured vehicles driving along a road in northern Syria. We haven’t found the original video.
unconfirmed video allegedly shows a convoy of US SOF with armored vehicles heading towards Manbij pic.twitter.com/yXsJYS6I2k
— Nomadly (@nomadly00) March 12, 2017
We don’t know when this video was shot – US armoured vehicles have been seen in Syria in the past, notably in late February 2017, when it was speculated that they were being given to the SDF for the fight for Raqqa. This video could be from much further back than that.
We have, however, geo-located the video to near the Lafarge cement plant between Ain Issa and Sarrin, east of the Euphrates river.
The yellow circle indicates a communications tower, visible at the start of the video and again later.
The pink circle denotes a old building, possibly a well, clearly visible on the left of the road at 31 seconds into the video and again later.
The blue circle indicates the sign at the entrance to the cement plant, visible at 31 seconds.
The orange circle indicates a tower or pole, visible throughout most of the video, but most obvious at 31 seconds and later.
The Lafarge plant has been used as a US military base and helicopter landing site for many months. Satellite images from July 2016 and January 2017 show US helicopters there.
U.S. special forces build up base in Lafarge cement factory in northern #Syria, sat imagery confirms
cc @EjmAlrai pic.twitter.com/76NYAsHM0I
— маяковский (@moscow_ghost) July 27, 2016
#Lafarge made some *investment* in northern #Syria 😈
U.S. SOF presence increased
Update from january 17 pic.twitter.com/kd1p2xeLrB
— маяковский (@moscow_ghost) March 9, 2017