The major Russian/Syrian/Iranian military offensive that began this last week at Idlib endangers US troops operating in the area. So about 100 Marines in Syria staged a live-fire air assault backed by artillery fire to make a statement.
“The United States does not seek to fight the Russians, the government of Syria or any groups that may be providing support to Syria in the Syrian civil war. The U.S. does not require any assistance in our efforts to destroy ISIS.” Capt William Urban, USN
The US Special Forces are encamped at Al Tanf. Twice the United States has warned the Russians to back off. They’ve also warned us that they are going to “totally annihilate” the “terrorists” in Syria. The problem, as we have previously stated, is that coalition forces in the area are made up of people that Assad and Putin view as “terrorists” and we view them as “allies.” It’s sticky.
In a statement describing the air-assault that took place Friday night in Syria, a spokesman for the U.S. military’s Central Command, responsible for all American forces in the Middle East, said it was an effort to “demonstrate the capability to deploy rapidly, assault a target with integrated air and ground forces, and conduct a rapid exfiltration anywhere in the Operation Inherent Resolve combined joint operations area.”
“Exercises like this bolster our defeat-ISIS capabilities and ensure we are ready to respond to any threat to our forces,” said Navy Capt. Bill Urban.
But most felt the message was a ‘hands-off’ directed at Moscow.
“The Russians agreed to a [34 mile] ‘deconfliction zone’ around the At Tanf garrison to avoid accidental conflict between our forces, and to remain professionally engaged through de-confliction channels. We expect the Russians to abide by this agreement.” Capt. Urban
As we previously reported, there are at least 2.9 million people in the Idlib area, a high civilian casualty count is fully expected if the Russian airstrikes continue. Even US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has told the assembly that “We consider any assault on Idlib to be a dangerous escalation of the conflict in Syria.”
Russia, Turkey, Iran are all meeting in Tehran on September 7. Will they heed the warning? Like a “shot across the bow” of their ship, they are bucking for a major problem if any of our troops are harmed by their airstrikes.
Meanwhile, some analysts say that they have evidence that Assad is planning another chemical attack- possibly in Idlib. If that happens, expect all h*** to break loose.