Trump phases Arab forces into Syria vs Iran ahead of US pullout. Egyptian/UAE officers on the scene

Our sources can now reveal the nature of that presence and the process afoot for the gradual US withdrawal. In the last few days, Egyptian and UAE military officers visited the contested north Syrian town of Manbij. They toured the town and its outskirts, checked out the locations of US and Kurdish YPG militia positions, and took notes on how to deploy their own troops as replacements. On the diplomatic side, the White House is in continuous conversation with the UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Muhammed Bin Ziyad (MbZ) and Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi. The deal Trump is offering, is that they take over US positions in Manbij, where the Kurds have sought protection against a Turkish invasion, and American air cover will be assured against Russian, Syrian or Turkish attack. Continue reading

Iran trains squads for terrorizing US forces in Syria. US air/naval buildup for striking back

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Iran’s proxy militias in Syria are being trained and armed for terrorizing US forces in eastern Syria, starting with IEDs like the bombs that bedeviled American forces in Iraq in 2004-2006. The mastermind of this campaign is Iran’s Mid East commander, Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani. DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that US commanders in Syria were forewarned of the coming campaign after it was approved by Tehran as retaliation for the sanctions re-imposed by the Trump administration.

They learned that terror squads, detached from the Iraqi and Afghan militias encamped in the eastern Syrian Deir ez-Zour province, had in the last few days completed their specialist training by Al Qods and Hizballah bomb experts. They were taught how to blow up American military installations, bridges and transportation routes and how to plant IEDs outside buildings and on the roads frequented by US military traffic. Continue reading

Russia to Israel: We will defend you if Iran attacks, but also defend Iran’s presence in Syria

This is a mixed message with the aim of outwardly projecting propaganda in the sense that the Iranian buildup isn’t a threat, when in reality Russia is saying the Persian state has green light to do as it pleases with full protections. They are baiting Israel into attacking, and they just might should the threat level continue to increase in this Middle Eastern game of chicken.

“If Iran attacks Israel, Russia will stand alongside the US to defend Israel,” said Russian ambassador to Israel Alexander Shein at the Munich security conference last week –  in a mixed message from Moscow. This assurance is part of the effort Moscow has been making for some time to allay Israel’s concerns and stop the Netanyahu government from agitating against the peril posed by an Iranian military presence in Syria.  The Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu carried this message when he paid an unprecedented visit to Jerusalem last October. Continue reading

Turkey Warns US Troops In Northern Syria May Be Targeted By Its Army

 

Last week we reported  that days Turkey valiantly demanded that US forces vacate military bases in the Syrian district of Manbij, the US predictably refused, and on Monday a top American general said that US troops will not pull out from the northern Syrian city of Manbij, rebuffing Ankara demands to withdraw from the city and risking a potential confrontation between the two NATO allies.

One week later, in the latest dramatic escalation between the two NATO members, Turkey’s Deputy PM has warned that US troops fighting alongside Syrian Kurdish militias in the same uniform may be targeted by the Turkish army due to the difficulty of distinguishing them in the heat of battle, effectively stating that US troops in northern Syria are now “fair game” in the ongoing deadly conflict. Continue reading

US, Turkish Troops Headed For Military Showdown In Syria

 

Two days after we reported that Turkey valiantly demanded that US forces vacate military bases in the Syrian district of Manbij, when Turkey’s foreign minister Melet Cavusoglu also said that Ankara is calling upon the US to cease any and all support to Syrian Kurdish forces and militias, not surprisingly the US refused, and on Monday a top American general said that US troops will not pull out from the northern Syrian city of Manbij, rebuffing Ankara demands to withdraw from the city and risking a potential confrontation between the two NATO allies.

Speaking on CNN, General Joseph Votel, head of the United States Central Command, said that withdrawing US forces from the strategically important city is “not something we are looking into.”

Last week Turkish troops crossed into Syria in an push to drive US-backed Kurds out of Afrin. As part of the Turkish offensive, which is grotesquely code-named ‘Operation Olive Branch’, president Erdogan warned that the offensive could soon target “terrorists” in Manbij, some 100km east of Afrin.

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US Marines in Syria to defend Kurds against Turkey

The US has sent a group of US Marines armed with eight-wheeled Stryker armored carriers to northern Syria as a buffer between Syrian Kurds and Turkish forces, after Turkish air strikes killed 20 members of the US-backed Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units) militia, injured 18 and destroyed the local Kurdish command headquarters. Clashes broke out between Turkish and Kurdish forces after the air strikes.

It was the second time American armored troops had stepped in to separate Turkish and the Kurdish YPG militia that leads the Syrian Democratic Force (SDF), to which the Americans assign a major role in the offensive to capture Raqqa from ISIS. On March 17, US Marines advanced towards the northern Syrian town of Manbij when the Turkish army was on the point of fighting the Kurdish militia for control of the town. Continue reading

US armored column at Manbij to block Russians

The Pentagon announced Tuesday, March 6, that a US armored convoy was deployed around the disputed northern Syrian town of Manbij, and in an unusual move, released a video depicting the convoy and its men.

A US military spokesman tweeted that the US deployment was a deliberate action taken to assure that forces within the US-led coalition deterred aggression and kept the focus on defeating ISIS.

Affirming that the US-led coalition was aware of the location of Russian-backed Syrian forces, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters Monday. Continue reading

Epic US, Russian, Turkish military summit on Syria

 

EXCLUSIVE:  For the first time ever, the top soldiers of the United States, Russia and Turkey are holding a secret meeting in the Turkish town of Antalya for an urgent two-day effort to avert a clash between their three armies, which stand ominously face to face in northern Syria.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the US Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian armed forces, and Gen. Hulusi Akar, Chief of Staff of the Turkish army sat down together on Tuesday, March 7. Continue reading

Inside the Combined Air and Space Operations Center

BERLIN/DAMASCUS/WASHINGTON (Own report) – The German Bundeswehr’s concrete role in the widely criticized air attacks carried out by the anti-IS coalition and its members has not become clear, even after the coalition’s air strikes on Syrian government forces near Deir al-Zor. The Bundeswehr is supporting air strikes on IS/DAESH not only by furnishing in-flight refueling – already more than 1,100 times – but also by supplying intelligence information. This information is passed on to all coalition members through the “information space” in the anti-IS coalition’s Combined Air and Space Operations Center at the Al Udeid Air Base (Qatar), where several Bundeswehr officers are stationed. Observers assume that some of this intelligence, for example, can be used also by Turkey to prepare its operations against Kurdish units in Northern Syria. It is not clear, whether this data has played a role also in preparing attacks, resulting in civilian casualties, such as the anti-IS coalition’s air strikes on Manbij in mid-July, wherein more than 100 people were killed. Last June, the Bundeswehr declared that it had already evaluated more than 11,000 reconnaissance photos and passed them on to its allies fighting the war against IS.

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