LOLITA C. BALDOR
BRUSSELS (AP) — The U.S. will send armored reinforcements into eastern Syria to bolster defenses against a potential move by Islamic State militants on oil fields controlled by U.S.-backed Syrian Kurds, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Friday.
Esper described the added force as "mechanized," which would likely means it will include tanks and other combat vehicles such as Bradley armored infantry carriers. This would introduce a new dimension to the U.S. military presence , which largely has been comprised of special operations forces not equipped with tanks or other armored vehicles.
It also would partially reverse the ongoing shrinkage of the U.S. troop presence in Syria. President Donald Trump has ordered the withdrawal of nearly all 1,000 U