The positioning of US troops in northeastern Syria, particularly around oil installations and border regions with Iraq, serves as a significant balancing element within Syria's intricate dynamics.
These forces serve to disrupt the Iranian land bridge that spans from Tehran, through Baghdad, to Damascus, and onwards to Beirut, ultimately reaching the Mediterranean Sea.
This is what Paul Bremer, the former civilian governor of Iraq during the occupation, terms the "old-new Persian dream."
In a recent encounter with him in Washington, Bremer articulated Iran's aspiration, viewing the establishment of a land bridge as one of Iran's pivotal strategic objectives. This corridor allows Iran to reach the Mediterranean Sea, facilitating the exportation of goods and oil.
Such an initiative provides Iran with a vital outlet after a prolonged period of perceived encirclement, marked by the presence of entities such as the Taliban in Afghanistan, Pakistan, a Western ally, and Azerbaijan, a nation viewed with suspicion, alongside Iraq under Saddam Hussein's rule.
Yet, the realisation of this Iranian corridor faces obstruction due to the proliferation of American forces, which have bolstered their deployment along the Syrian-Iraqi border, as well as their support for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Were it not for the presence of these forces, Iran could have expanded its influence in the region, potentially enhancing its economic prospects in the process.