US troops and the Kurdish fighters supported by them were nearly struck by artillery fire in Syria, pulling relations between the United States and Turkey to new lows.

Clashes between the Kurds and the Turkish military, which has intruded into Syria, have increased in recent weeks. In this recent incident, multiple artillery strikes landed within one kilometer of the U.S. troops. The Russian Ministry of Defense said an American convoy was attacked on the M-4 highway on the outskirts of Tel Tamir as it was headed toward the Iraq border.

Nobody was injured in the artillery fire.  In a previous incident, the Turkish military fired on positions occupied by U.S. troops.

Although U.S. President Donald Trump made public his determination to withdraw troops from Syria, it appears that the instead of removing the troops, the military is repositioning them in the eastern part of the country to protect oil interests in the region. A report by Agence France-Presse indicates that there has been a noted uptick in the number of U.S. troops patrolling with Kurdish fighters in the area. There has also been a recent discussion of the United States developing a base in  Qamishli innortheastern Syria, which is on the border with Turkey and close to Iraq.

A convoy of US troops outside the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli, in Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province on Saturday A convoy of US troops outside the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli, in Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province on Saturday Photo: AFP / Delil SOULEIMAN

A source told International Business Times that more troops are arriving than leaving. A National Guard unit out of South Carolina was rolled into position toward the eastern oil fields late last week.

The source further said that while it has been promised that the number of troops U.S. troops in the area would be less than a thousand, it appears there is a new project in the works.

There has been no official comment from the U.S. government at this time on strategy in the vicinity changing. So whether President Trump's promise to withdraw from Syria will finally be carried out remains to be seen, especially considering the fast-changing ground situation in the volatile region.