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17 September 2016

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AEL

Special Forces wear shoes because the American people have been promised that there will be no "boots on the ground".

Fred

Col.,

"urkish troops, tanks and Turkish-backed Syria opposition fighters crossed the Syrian-Turkish border in August..." "President Barack Obama has authorized ..."

Did the Syrian government grant permission for the Turkish troops to enter their territory? Would it be imprudent to classify our own men as human shields to keep the Sultan's guard safe from the RuAF? When did the Congress authorize military deployment inside Syrian sovereign territory?

JMH

Sir,

CNN has a history of just saying whatever they want even after they have been thoroughly educated by various cats and dogs. They just don't care.

Liza

Col. Lang:

There has just been a major development in Syria. Both RT and Sputnik are reporting that US jets have fired on Syria army positions, killing 62 soldiers. Apparently the ceasefire has ended.

I'm very interested in learning your thoughts on this development.


https://www.rt.com/news/359678-us-strikes-syrian-army/

Ishmael Zechariah

SST,
Turkish press is reporting that, during his visit, General Gerasimov delivered an explicit warning to TSK high command about the legality and limits of the Turkish military operation in Syria. I think both TSK and tayyip will heed the warning, irrespective of any US advisors on the ground.
Ishmael Zechariah

Ghostship

The report also mentions that straight after, ISIS launched an attack which could have been opportunistic but you have to wonder if there is some form of cooperation going on between the United States, Turkey, and ISIS, trying to evict the Syrian government from one of it's last footholds in eastern Syria.

turcopolier

Liza "SOF" airplanes? That was a bad joke. Preliminary reporting sounds like CAS for an IS attack. I hope that is not true. Ash Carter at work? https://www.rt.com/news/359678-us-strikes-syrian-army/ pl

Laura

Col.--Point of information: Who names these things? I have always wondered how and by whom the operations monikers are assigned. ???

Laura

VietnamVet

Colonel,

“Mid-town” is at the point of desperation. Scapegoating “Deplorables” and her illness are cratering the polls. To stay in power and continue the looting, a second Bin Laden event is required before the election. However, she promised no troops on the ground in Syria. This led to creation of a riffraff force to take Raqqa; a sequel to Libya. The city will be pounded to dust and rebar. But, who will fight, dying block by block, to take it back from the Daesh. Not Turkey. Not Iraq. Not Iran. Not Russia. Not Israel. Not the Gulf Monarchies. Not Al Qaeda. Not the USA. No one except Syria. Only a global alliance of the West, Russia and China will end the forever wars, return the refugees home and build peace in the Middle East.

The media propaganda and the hacked e-mails give me no clue what is going to happen next. De facto, Syria is partitioned. The number of combat take-offs from Joint Base Andrews is increasing.

Anonymous

Even John Snow knows SOF means a company of AF Pararescuemen saving dying children in the middle of a simultaneous attack by Assad's chemical weapons, ISIS beheading junkies and bloody dwarf comedians sent by Joffrey Baratheon.

michael brenner

I am not sure that there is much pay-off in trying to make sense of these actions by applying conventional standards. We have a government whose various parts are flailing about with as much attention being paid each other as to fulfilling missions. In fact, there is no discernible overriding mission. Time-frames seem to be measured in days - if not hours. The permissive factor is that we have no functioning President and no functioning National Security Advisor authorized by the absentee President. Finally, our senior officials - military. civilian, Intelligence - simply are not very competent. What serious leader would retain any of this motley crew?

No wonder Erdogan and the Saudis can so easily manipulate us. As for Putin and Lavrov, they are struggling in full awareness that they have no interlocutor valable in Washington.

Ghostship

"The United States Central Command released a statement admitting that they hit Syrian Army positions, but claim that they did not intend to target Syrian servicemen in violation of the ceasefire agreement, but were instead targeting Daesh terrorists."

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160917/1045418270/coalition-airstrike-bombing-syrian-army.html

All those billions spent on hardware and USAF can't tell the difference between the Syrian Army and Daesh. And what were they doing bombing near Deir Ezzor, it's not as if the have any SF deployed there, at least any we know about.

Perhaps it's time for Putin to copy the whole world and his dog on an e-mail with the ceasefire documents as attachements, by accident of course.

turcopolier

Ghostship

"his dog?" Trump? Come on, all of that is media meme. pl

turcopolier

Ghostship

OK, the obvious corrective is too start coordinating strikes with Russia so as to avoid killing more brave men fighting to save their country from medieval devils. pl

Ghostship

I see what you did there.

D

"... US personnel will be conducting the same type of advising, assisting and training missions that the US had been providing to moderate opposition ..."

Reminds me of the political satirist Mark Russell's remark many years ago, "The definition of a 'moderate' Islamic fighter is a guy who has just run out of ammunition."

Ghostship

Yes. After announcing that they had concerns about coordinating with the Russians because of a lack of trust, for the military to claim that it was a mistake makes me believe that they're telling the truth. If it had been intentional they would have just denied it or said it was the Russians.
It'll be interesting to see how far the coordination will go because there's no doubt that the expensive US hardware is more effective than the less expensive hardware Russia is currently using when the intelligence is good.

Jonathan House

From NYTimes on line a moment ago quoting AP

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESSSEPT. 17, 2016, 6:09 P.M. E.D.T.
BEIRUT — The Latest on the conflict in Syria, where the U.S. military says it may have unintentionally struck government forces. (all times local):

12:45 a.m.
The United Nations Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting for Saturday night at Russia's request to discuss a U.S. airstrike that Moscow says struck Syrian government troops battling the Islamic State group. The council meeting was scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. (2330 GMT).
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says Moscow is demanding "full and detailed explanations about whether this was deliberate support of the Islamic State or another mistake." Zakharova was quoted by the state news agency Tass as saying that "after today's attack on the Syrian army, we come to the terrible conclusion that the White House is defending the Islamic State."
The U.S. military says it halted an air raid against IS in eastern Syria after it was informed by Russia that it might have struck Syrian troops. If confirmed, it would be the first American strike on President Bashar Assad's forces in the five-year-old conflict.

Booby

Policy, we don't need no foreign policy.

Kurdish forces with US advisors crossed Turkey's Euphrates red line. Turkey crosses into Syria with unicorn army elements to attack ISIS, but seems to mostly kill Kurds. Now the US sends advisors to the FSA (unicorns) in Syria. I saw some video today purportedly showing FSA troops chasing US SOF forces out of Al Rai calling them infidels.

I once knew a man who dealt in used weapons. He said the ideal situation was to be in the middle of one of these 3d world civil wars & sell to both sides. Now the US is in the position of advising & arming 2 opposing elements of a multi-player war. Maybe the DC crowd figures if they cover all of the bets on the table, they might pick a winner & get to do a victory dance. I feel we are at the bottom of a hole & digging harder. Hopefully the advisors with the Kurds are talking to the advisors with the Turks/FSA so that we don't have intramural fire fights like we did in VN when the CIA & Recon went into the same areas without coordination.

I'd love to know how the targeting was done for the air strikes on the SAA troops. The Syrian base has been surrounded & cut off for years.

Policy, what policy?

BabelFish

The North remembers.

BraveNewWorld

I would normally agree with you, but we have been hearing for a week now that DOD wants to kill the deal and unless I am very mistaken they just did.

Even if one were still inclined to want to work with the Americans, the US isn't speaking with one voice right now. Every one seems to be free lancing.

robt willmann

Here is an article about the U.S. "coalition" (with whom?) airstrikes that killed and wounded Syrian soldiers and perhaps others around Deir ez Zor. Notice that the article states: "The CENTCOM official said the U.S. military was `certain' about the outcome of the strike. Officials had been watching these forces `for a few days' thinking they were ISIS." The U.S. was "watching" the people on the ground "for a few days", and did not know they were Syrian soldiers? With sensors that can count the hairs on the back of a mouse from up in the air and capture conversations on the ground, the U.S., after watching "for a few days" (likely including daylight), had no idea they were the Syrian army? Save that baloney for others--

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/09/17/us-halts-air-raid-after-learning-syrian-forces-may-have-been-hit.html

Old Microbiologist

Or they could move S400 anti-aircraft and start shooting down any non-Russian planes, maybe by accident. It is really up to Putin as to how this goes now. His move to force a UN referendum will also force the release of the classified treaty, probably something the US doesn't want.

Henshaw

Definitely an odd smell about this incident. As you say, what was the USA doing bombing close to the city of Deir Ezzor? IIRC, US hasn't done any bombing in this region, much less in the environs of the city itself, since December 2015. I welcome explanations as to the US's reason for its sudden interest in this locality, particularly as there would be unlikely to be any Daesh strategic assets so close to the front line.

According to Peto Lucem and others, the location of the bombing has been in SAA control since at least early 2016. 'Fog of war' can explain such incidents when front lines are shifting rapidly, as happened when the Russians struck a SAA position during the advance on Palmyra, but the SAA have held this mountain lookout for six months.

It's one thing to hit the wrong target, but to be in such an unusual locality in the first place needs a convincing explanation. No doubt Samantha Power, having been very publicly dropped in the sh*t over this, is already demanding answers.

And yes, maybe some Russian hackers could unearth the CoH documents.

Hood Canal Gardner

"medieval devils" works for me..but best not sling the designation around too far.

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