Bottom Line Up Front:
The US presence in Syria has always been based on the pretext of fighting ISIS- Mission creep was always intended. It was not happenstance. Interesting that the US mission expansion under the Trump presidency didn't get a whole lot of attention?• During his March 9 testimony to the U.S. Senate, commander of U.S. Central Command General Joseph Votel stated 400 Marines had recently arrived in Syria.• These forces will provide artillery support for the military push into Raqqa, expected within weeks.• A contingent of U.S. Army Rangers has been deployed to Manbij in a high-profile bid to prevent fighting between the various factions and armies in the crowded battlefield.• Though the U.S. presence in Syria has been exclusively part of an anti-Islamic State mission, recent signs indicate it may be creeping towards broader and longer-lasting stability operations.
The US has no legal or moral authorization or necessity to be in Syria and yet they've been there all along. September 11/2001- The false flag needed to kick off the regional remake."Without much public attention and no congressional debate, the U.S. military is expanding both its presence and its operational parameters in Syria. Until now, the U.S. effort in Syria has been focused exclusively on fighting the so-called Islamic State. (bullocks!) The U.S. has no domestic legal authorization to directly engage in the Syrian civil war; its fight against the Islamic State and al-Qaeda in Syria is authorized—somewhat tenuously—by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The previously acknowledged 503 semi-permanent military personnel in Syria have been comprised primarily of Special Operations Forces (SOF). That changed this week with the addition of 400 U.S. Marines who will provide artillery support in the gathering push towards Raqqa, the de-facto capital of the Islamic State"
"While the numbers remain small and will likely never come close to the scale of the U.S. military presence in Iraq during the Iraq war, the focus of the mission in Syria is beginning to broaden. A contingent of U.S. Army Rangers, perhaps two dozen or less, has been deployed outside of the pivotal town of Manbij in northern Syria. This unit is engaged in a high-profile and high-risk mission, (against Turkey) not fighting the Islamic State, but keeping the various and competing non-Islamic State military forces around Manbij from fighting each other. The presence of the Rangers highlights how enormously complicated the Syrian battlefield is, particularly in northern Syria.
Photos from Syria show heavily armored Stryker fighting vehicles prominently displaying the U.S. flag and markings of the 75th Ranger Regiment’s 3rd Battalion. The rare public display of the Ranger presence was, in the words of Pentagon spokesperson Capt. Jeff Davis, “a visible sign of deterrence and reassurance” to keep Turkish forces and Turkish-backed militias from attacking Kurdish forces that had retaken Manbij from the Islamic State. The U.S. has partnered closely with the Syrian Kurdish fighting force known as the YPG; Turkey, which has always been concerned about Kurdish influence and intentions both inside and near its borders, considers the YPG a terrorist entity aligned with the PKK and objects strongly to U.S. support"
There will be a no fly/safe zone. Bad news for Iran and Turkey.During his March 9 testimony to the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Army General Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), stated that more conventional troops, as opposed to the SOF personnel, would perhaps be needed in the future after current combat operations. He stated, “As we move more towards the latter part of these operations into more of the stability and other aspects of the operations we will see more conventional forces requirements perhaps.” Such a commitment would be rather significant and lengthy, given what would undoubtedly be the most fragile of ceasefires between warring sides such as the Kurds, Turkey, the Assad regime, and its Iranian and Russian backers. Toppling the Islamic State will not end the group’s threat; it will continue to be a dangerous terror group long after it loses its self-proclaimed caliphate. Indeed, the complex battlefield in Syria, filled with competing objectives, ensures that the larger conflict will continue long after the Islamic State is toppled—a reality that the U.S. military appears to be tacitly acknowledging as it slowly increases the scope of its mission in the country.
At some point in time we're going to talk about the narrative shift, the perception managing presentation that has occurred regarding Syria...It's interesting to witness and appears to be being swallowed hook, line and sinker.
Update 9:55 am est- hattip to my hubby :)
The U.S. is sending 2,500 troops to Kuwait, ready to step up the fight in Syria and Iraq
The U.S. military is sending an additional 2,500 ground combat troops to a staging base in Kuwait from which they could be called upon to back up coalition forces battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
The deployment will include elements of the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, which is based at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. About 1,700 soldiers from the same unit are overseas now, spread between Iraq and Kuwait. They're focused on the U.S.-led effort to train and assist the Iraqi troops doing much of the fighting against ISIS there.With another 2,500 ready to go...
These new personnel, however, will be "postured there to do all things Mosul, Raqqa, all in between," Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, the Army's deputy chief of staff for operations, told House lawmakers Wednesday. He was referring to the Islamic State's two main strongholds: Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, major urban centers where U.S.-back allies are fighting a well entrenched enemy.
"So the whole brigade will now be forward," Anderson said.
It's unclear when this new wave of paratroopers will deploy. Lt. Col. Joe Buccino, an 82nd Airborne Division spokesman, referred additional questions to the U.S. military command in Baghdad. Officials there did not immediately respond to Military Times' request seeking additional details.
All told, the 82nd Airborne's 2nd Brigade Combat Team includes about 4,400 soldiers who compose infantry, artillery and cavalry units, plus their supply pipeline.
Today, there are about 6,000 American troops spread between Iraq and Syria, where this week Marine Corps artillery crews established a fire base from which U.S. forces intend to attack ISIS targets in and around Raqqa.
The Manbij situation has been covered fairly extensively- Last year & the recent posts below:
The reality of no fly/safe zones:
If you have the time over the week-end do listen to this interview, and leave some thoughts :)