Category Archives: Syria

Massive mobilization of Turkish forces toward Syrian border

Turkey’s president has said the country will launch a military assault on a Kurdish enclave in northern Syria “in the coming days” and urged the US to support its efforts.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the operation against the Afrin enclave aimed to “purge terror” from his country’s southern border.

Afrin is controlled by a Syrian Kurdish militia known as the YPG. Turkey considers the YPG to be a terrorist group linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK) that has waged a bloody insurgency within its borders.

A YPG spokesman in Afrin said there had been clashes on Sunday between his unit and Turkish troops near the border. Rojhat Roj said shelling of areas in Afrin district, in Aleppo province, had killed one YPG fighter and injured two civilians.

Turkey and its western allies, including the US, consider the PKK a terrorist organisation. But the US has been arming some of Syria’s Kurds to help defeat Islamic State in Syria – a sore point in already tense US-Turkish relations.

The Turkish president said that “despite it all” he wanted to work with the US in the region and hoped it would not side with the YPG during the Afrin operation.

“We expect [the US] to support Turkey in its legitimate efforts” to combat terror, Erdoğan said.

Separately, Erdoğan’s spokesman described as “worrying” reports that the US-led coalition fighting Isis would establish a 30,000-strong border security force in Syria involving the Kurdish militia.

Read More At:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/14/turkey-plans-assault-on-kurdish-enclave-in-syria

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Substantial upgrade of US infrastructures + various vehicles deployment including AH-64 Apache/Bell AH-1Z Viper helicopters in Syria, more updates soon

The Pentagon is likely to announce in the coming days that there are about 2,000 US troops in Syria, rather than the 500 the military has said are in the war-torn country.

Two US officials detailed the new figure on Friday, as the military acknowledges that an accounting system has underreported the size of forces on the ground.

Separately, Donald Trump discussed developments in Syria with the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on Sunday, a spokesman for Erdoğan said.

The US military has publicly said it has about 500 troops in Syria, mostly supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces group of Kurdish and Arab militias fighting Islamic State in the north of the country.

The two officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Pentagon could as early as Monday publicly announce the new figure, though there was always a possibility that last-minute changes could delay an announcement.

An accounting system, known as the Force Management Level (FML), was introduced in Iraq and Syria under the Obama administration as a way to exert control over the military.

But the numbers do not reflect the extent of the US commitment on the ground, since commanders often find ways to work around the limits, sometimes bringing in forces temporarily or hiring more contractors.

Current FML figures are officially 5,262 in Iraq and 503 in Syria, but officials have privately acknowledged that the real number for each country is more. In August, the Pentagon announced that there were 11,000 troops serving in Afghanistan, thousands more than it has previously stated.

The Pentagon said last December it would increase the number of authorized troops in Syria to 500. It is not clear how long the actual number has been at about 2,000.

Read More At:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/24/pentagon-us-2000-troops-syria-not-500

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What is the need for the US to develop another big military base when ISIS is facing near total defeat in Syria?

Future plans of the United States regarding the Syrian crisis include maintaining a military presence in the country and establishing a new local government in areas where the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is predominantly led by the PKK’s Syrian affiliate People’s Protection Units (YPG), have been trained, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

According to the U.S. daily, the Trump administration does not want to leave the stage to the Assad regime after the Daesh terror group is completely defeated in the country.

This intention was interpreted in the piece as a “potentially open-ended commitment that could draw the U.S. into conflict with both Syria and Iran.”

The Washington Post also cited U.S. officials as saying that the current presence in Syria would be used in favor of the SDF, fearing that an “abrupt withdrawal” could lead to the Assad regime’s political survival.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis also said last week that the country intended to set the right conditions for a “diplomatic solution” in the area.

“We’re not just going to walk away right now,” he added.

According to official figures, 503 U.S. soldiers are currently stationed in Syria with the aim of training the PKK’s Syrian offshoot-dominated SDF. However, experts claim that the actual number is much higher.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, Turkey, Iran and Russia agreed on holding a Syrian People’s Congress to find a permanent solution to the Syrian crisis during a trilateral meeting in the coastal Russian city of Sochi.

Turkey, Russia and Iran are the guarantor countries that brokered a cease-fire in Syria in December 2016, leading to the Astana talks, which are running parallel to the Geneva talks for peace in Syria. The three countries have carried out negotiations in the Kazakh capital since then and agreed on the formation of five de-escalation zones in Syria.

Syria has been locked in a deadly civil war since early 2011, after the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with brutality, leading to the death of thousands of people and to the displacement of more than 10 million others.

Read More At:

https://www.dailysabah.com/syrian-crisis/2017/11/23/us-intends-to-maintain-military-presence-in-syria-after-daesh-defeat

While the Trump administration celebrates a new deal meant to freeze the battlefield in southern Syria, the Assad regime and Iran are preparing for the next phase of the long-running war, in which they will attempt to re-conquer the rest of the country. Whether Iran succeeds depends largely on whether the United States acknowledges and then counters that strategy.

Tehran is pouring thousands of fighters into newly acquired territories and building military bases. Although U.S.-supported forces hold territories east of the Euphrates River in Syria’s southeast, as well as along the borders of Israel and Jordan in the southwest, Iran has stated its intention to help Bashar al-Assad retake all of Syria.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani has been recently spotted in the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zour, showing how high a priority it is for Iran to take the oil-rich land nearby. Soleimani has also been spotted near the town of Abu Kamal, which sits just across the border from the Iraqi city of Qaim and is the last piece of the land bridge Iran seeks to establish from Tehran to Beirut.

Read More At:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/the-us-must-prepare-for-irans-next-move-in-syria/2017/11/19/c8ee0906-cbc0-11e7-8321-481fd63f174d_story.html?utm_term=.a686ced9f8f1

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US is using vaguely worded legal documents which obscure Syria as billions dollars’ worth of weapons’ final destination

The Pentagon has relied on an army of contractors and sub-contractors – from blue-chip military giants to firms linked to organized crime – to supply up to US$ 2.2 billion worth of Soviet-style arms and ammunition to Syrian rebels fighting a sprawling war against the Islamic State (ISIS).

Arms factories across the Balkans and Eastern Europe – already working at capacity to supply the Syrian war – are unable to meet the demand. In response, the US Department of Defense (DoD) has turned to new suppliers like Kazakhstan, Georgia, and Ukraine for additional munitions while relaxing standards on the material it’s willing to accept, according to an investigation by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

Reporters have pieced together the Pentagon’s complex supply line to Syria using procurement records, ship-tracking data, official reports, leaked emails, and interviews with insiders. This program is separate from a now-defunct CIA effort to arm rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

The Pentagon is buying the arms through two channels: the Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which oversees special operations across all services of the US military, and the Picatinny Arsenal, a little-known US Army weapons facility in New Jersey.

The munitions are being transported by both sea and air from Europe to Turkey, Jordan and Kuwait. They are then distributed to US allies in northern and southern Syria by plane and truck. (See: Black Sea Route)

Reporters discovered that the US is using vaguely worded legal documents which obscure Syria as the weapons’ final destination – a practice experts say threatens global efforts to combat arms trafficking and puts the Eastern European governments who sell the weapons and ammunition at risk of breaching international law. Others raise the issue of who, exactly, is using the arms and what will happen to them once ISIS has been defeated.

Read More At:

http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/09/12/the-pentagon-is-spending-2-billion-running-soviet-era-guns-to-syrian-rebels/amp/

https://www.occrp.org/en/makingakilling/the-pentagon-is-spending-2-billion-on-soviet-style-arms-for-syrian-rebels

Israeli forces reportedly enter Beer Ajam, Quneitra Governorate, Syria

On September 8, Israeli troops entered a militant-held area in the eastern part of the Golan Heights, according to sources loyal to Syrian pro-government sources.

Israeli troops allegedly advanced 200 meters inside the area controlled by the so-called Syrian moderate opposition and reached the village of Beer Ajam.

Screenshot_1-19

Read More At:

https://maps.southfront.org/israeli-troops-enter-militant-held-area-of-beer-ajam-in-golan-heights-reports/

More US reinforcements have arrived north of Raqqa, Syria. Report says 40 trucks loaded with military equipment including MRAPs

A key political and media adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accused the US-led coalition of seeking to fragment Syria, saying the plan will fail.

“The targeting of civilians in Raqqa (the de facto capital of the Islamic State group) and the crimes committed against them… is something that sparks questions and it’s most likely that the US is trying to terrorize the Arab citizens in Raqqa into leaving their areas to establish a suitable ground for federalisation or the (creation of) Kurdish entity” in northern Syria, Bouthaina Shaaban said on Thursday.

The US will fail to fragment Syria “because the Syrian people are one”, she said.

Her remarks came as the US-led coalition is throwing a heavy support behind the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is fighting the IS in Raqqa.

However, the killing of civilians on a daily basis pushed the Syrian government to condemn the US-led coalition’s “crimes” in Raqqa and urge the UN to dissolve the coalition.

While the SDF is advancing inside Raqqa, the Syrian army and tribal forces are advancing against the extremists in the countryside, coming close to the last IS-held town in the eastern Raqqa countryside.

The army forces and allied troops have already reclaimed the western and southern countryside of Raqqa.

http://wap.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/damascus-accuses-us-led-coalition-of-trying-to-fragment-syria-117081800987_1.html

US continues to pepare its military overseas operation, this time from Beaumont, TX East Coast. (🛳️ Ro-Ro Cape Victory)

US Military overseas operation ongoing on daily basis, hard to say where these vehicles will be transported, too many options open, just wait and check Ro-Ro Cape Victory AIS updates on Marine Traffic.

Officially these vehicles are bound for Europe, Atlantic Resolve operation.