“US troops in northern Syria came under direct attack” – TTG


"(CNN) – US troops in northern Syria came under direct attack last week by Turkish-backed rebels, a military official with the coalition fighting ISIS told CNN Tuesday. The official said that while US troops returned fire there were no casualties on either side.

The coalition believes the attackers are part of the Turkish-backed opposition forces, a loose grouping of Arab and Turkmen fighters that have helped the Turkish military clear ISIS from the Turkish-Syria border area.

"Recent incidents have occurred in territories primarily under the control of Turkish-backed fighters. We are engaged with Ankara and other parties to address this danger," Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon told CNN."


These things were bound to happen. We have semi-autonomous armed bands roaming the countryside with their clan banners flying. Allegiances are in flux. It reminds me of bands of horsemen roaming the steppes centuries ago. The only difference is that the horses are replaced with Nissan pickups, BMP-1s and Strykers. And the Tartar bows and lances are replaced with heavy machine guns and ATGMs. 

In other news two Arab militias previously fighting under the SDF banner in the Manbij region defected to the SAA. The militia leaders have already met with Suheil al Hassan. I think we’ll see a lot more of this in the coming months in the greater Idlib and Aleppo regions as part of an aggressive campaign to pull local tribes and tribal forces under the SAA.

I also think Moscow and Damascus are going to make it clear to the Kurds that full cooperation with Damascus is their only prudent course of action. I think Russia has developed enough sway over Erdogan to control any massive Turkish attacks on the Kurds if the Kurds yield to the wisdom of Damascus. Otherwise, Turkey will make life miserable for the Rojava Kurds.

I’ll go out on a limb here and say this will happen before the SAA turns its attention and forces from the coming liberation of Deir Ezzor to the reduction of the Idlib jihadis, probably with the aid of the Kurds and the acquiescence of the Turks. We’ll see.



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14 Responses to “US troops in northern Syria came under direct attack” – TTG

  1. Lemur says:

    It seems Trump really is only interested in knocking out ISIS and then getting the hell out of Syria, based on the moaning from Tel Aviv. I’ve noticed a consistent string of articles from Borg publications complaining along the lines of ‘handing syria over to Russia and Iran’ too.
    If this is in fact the case, Damascus taking the Kurds in hand solves the Turkey-YPG problem for Washington. Trump will be happy, but the establishment won’t, since Russia will be acting as the balancer.

  2. Kooshy says:

    I saw the news and I comment about this incident on previous thread, I didn’t know TTG is posting on this incident, I hope good colonel has a way of moving my comment to this thread. and deleting this comment.
    Thank you
    This Syrian war theater is such a tangled, confused, chaotic situation that is hard to imagine how and when it can be untangled again, alliances can be shifting on a dime and blow away with the desert sand, IMO US relation with Turkey although both treaty allies is becoming similar to (past?) Iran Turkey relations, meaning opportunistic regardless of signed ratified NATO treaty articles. Would US defend Turkey if Turkey is invaded by Kurds? “U.S. MILITARY BATTLES SYRIAN REBELS ONCE SUPPORTED BY CIA, NOW BACKED BY TURKEY” http://www.newsweek.com/us-military-battles-syria-rebels-supported-cia-backed-turkey-656617

  3. Meyssan has been doggedly loyal to Trump ever since the election. I’m not so sure myself. But one can always hope!

  4. Seamus Padraig,
    I also think Meyssan is giving Trump too much credit here. Persistent Russian diplomatic pressure on Ankara and Amman along with their effective support of the SAA is what’s changing the calculus in the region. But if Trump manages to merely stay out of the way of those efforts, he will be doing us all a great favor. Now if we can get him to ignore Iran as well, we would be stumbling into what could be sold as a coherent US foreign policy for the region.

  5. mike says:

    TTG –
    The Turks will acquiesce while gritting their teeth, but MIT may work quietly against it. Probably they will help evacuate their jihadi proxies from Idlib and resettle them in the Kurdish cities of southeastern Turkey.
    IMHO the challenge to Syria and Iraq once the jihadis are defeated is to get rid of the Turkish enclaves. Hopefully Russia can exert some influence on Erdogan to leave peacefully.
    Russian military police have just recently arrived near Tel Rifat between Kurdish Afrin and the Turkish enclave in order to hold down the bloodshed. Similar to what the US is doing with their patrols around Manbij. It will be interesting to see if the Turkish backed opposition forces will engage in firefights with the Russian MPs as they did with the Americans.

  6. mike says:

    Russian observers have also arrived in the City of Afrin, the capital of the Afrin Canton. The city center there has recently been shelled and mortared by the Turks and their proxies causing civilian casualties.
    Russians even brought a field kitchen with them, so they may be staying awhile.

  7. JJackson says:

    mike – How many Turkish proxies are left in Idlib? HTS seems to have been assimilating, or driving out, much that it did not already control. The aim seems to have been to prevent any areas from flipping when offered an amnesty deal.

  8. Emad says:

    The Kurds have painted themsevles into a corner by insisting on a referendum in Iraq which has given Baghdad a heartburn; tying their finances to Saudis and leveraging their longstanding ties to Israel, which has given Iran a headache, and insisting on fighting inside Turkey, which has given Turkey whatever it has.
    Even if Moscow can convince the Kurds to see the “wisdom” of Damascus, they’ve shapeshifted too many times to be reliable. So to make the Kurds weak enough not to play spoiler for a long time to come, Damascus, Tehran and possibly Moscow wouldn’t mind letting Turkey have her way with them before stepping in to rein in Turkey.

  9. mike says:

    JJackson –
    Great question! A bit hard to untangle all the HTS internal relationships.
    HTS itself has officially announced a list of over 100 member groups. It may be BS propaganda. But even a half or a third of that number still leaves many groups that will switch sides again at the slightest breeze from Ankara. Lots of Syrian Turkmen live in Idlib Province and lots of those have their own units under the HTS umbrella. They are natural allies of Erdogan. And so are the foreign fighters from Uzbekistan, Turkistan and other spots in Central Asia.

  10. b says:

    There is a competition ongoing between the U.S. and Syria/Russia to convince tribes to fight for their respective side.
    McGurk is busy reconcil$$$ing those who had sworn allegiance to ISIS.
    Tribes Leaders previously Pledged to ISIS Appearing in Pictures with Brett McGurk in Raqqa

  11. turcopolier says:

    One of your admirers says you have statements by Obama and Kerry to the effect that the US used IS against Maliki and Assad. I would like to see the material. pl

  12. Emad,
    As I’m sure you’re aware, there is little love lost among the various Kurdish factions. Moscow will deal with the Rojava Kurds as a separate Syrian entity. The rest of the Kurds are another problem for another day.

  13. b says:

    I just reposted the links to the Obama and Kerry statement in the thread above this one.

  14. Linda says:

    I must admit that my head is spinning with all the Turks, Turkmen and all varieties of Kurds. It’s not that I don’t understand who they are and where they came from, but the chess pieces operating seem to be an impenetrable situation. And, we didn’t even get to Mosul and Kirkuk that surely will create a mess. I believe we may have created a monster by turning the Persmerga into such a good fighting force. Did we really think we could put that genie back in the bottle? And if I were king (or Queen as it were) I would break relations with Turkey. Yes, I do know all the downsides of that.

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