Saturday, October 31, 2015

U.S. to Deploy Special Operations Forces to Syria

The White House said on Friday it will deploy several dozen U.S. Special Operations troops in Kurdish-controlled northeast Syria to advise and assist Kurdish security forces in an effort to break the military stalemate against the Islamic State. The special operators will also help gather battlefield intelligence and facilitate U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against Islamic State targets.

The U.S. will also deploy a dozen of A-10 attack aircraft and an equal number of F-15 fighter jets to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey near the Syrian border to support ground operations against ISIL. A key goal of the current plan is to help opposition and Kurdish security forces to cut supply lines and communications between Raqqa, Islamic State’s administrative capital in Syria, and Mosul, its self-declared capital in Iraq, as critical step to push ISIL out of both cities.

Meanwhile, farther south and west, Russian warplanes and Iran-led pro-regime forces under the command of Gen. Soleimani are engaged in a three-week-old offensive on multiple fronts against the opposition forces and ISIL around the city of Aleppo, Syria’s largest.

Photo credit: Fighting in the strategic town of Safira, 16 miles southeast of Aleppo, between Iran-led forces and ISIL; 31 October 2015 (Twitter)

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Nader can you pleas provide us with a name of the so called opposition forces!!!? Al Nusra? Or FSA? There is actually no organisation that is recognized as an fighting opposition force in Syria. I think after today's declaration in Vienna for every country involved in this issue in Syria it is clear that there is no legitimate military organisation except the saa...and there is just a political solution possible. And this political solution is just possible with the actual government of president assad. And even the management of a political change in Syria belongs to the government.

Anonymous said...

Hope you will be fair and post my comment. Even if you don't like my point of few

Nader Uskowi said...

That's not true. The statement issued at the end of Vienna talks makes the point very clear, but I guess you choose not to read it, because it does not fit your ideology. This is what the statement say about the opposition:

"Pursuant to the 2012 Geneva Communique and U.N. Security Council Resolution 2118, the participants invited the U.N. to convene representatives of the Government of Syria and the Syrian opposition for a political process leading to credible, inclusive, non-sectarian governance, followed by a new constitution and elections."

The Syrian opposition is recognized by the UN and the 19 countries participating in Vienna Talks, including Russia and Iran. And you, as an anonymous commentator, want to tell us there is no legitimate opposition in Syria.

I suggest that you accept the realities on the ground, even if you do not like them, and hope that the two sides in the civil war could reach a negotiated settlement under the auspice of the UN and together defeat ISIL and all extremists. That's the only hope for Syria. Short of that, we will have a fragmented former country, with extremists ruling over the ungoverned parts of the country.

Anonymous said...

Can USA do that without Syrian government consent? I mean how does it work! You can not sent forces inside a country without the government consent based on UN laws. What about the Geneva 3 meeting! They should authorize this in collaboration with Syrian government or it is illegal! Why does US try to do things that reduces its soft power and moral ground! It is not a correct move! May be they are trying to calm the desperate KSA before the next meeting otherwise it does't make sense unless they contact Syrian government!

Anonymous said...

Dear Nader Uskowi!

You are totally right about Syrian opposition - there are somebody! But the problem is that nobody knows who are they even the USA and coalition!

Brig. Gen. Basrawi, IQAF.ret said...

The US is de facto at war with Syria even though there has not been a formal declaration of war by President Obama. Nonetheless, you are right, US government should officially make clear, by the way of a televised statement from President Obama and various media outlets, to the American public that their country is waging a war against Syria,

Anonymous said...

Nader, with all due sincerity kindly name those moderate armed oppositions and their leaders. This will be greatly appreciated for the sake of constructive criticism.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:21
The U.S. doesn't need permission from Syrian government , or any other government for that matter to act unilaterally to engage terrorist targets .

Anonymous said...

Nader please read my post again. I talked about Opposition FORCE!!!!! Its possible to have a Opposition FORCE!!!! Did You get it???? No political solution can be formed by the Opposition political establishmemt until there are ppl like you between them and talk about Opposition FORCE. Maybe You have to read it again my friend. And One thing that i am proud of is to have the Chance to talk on anonym to You. Please accept this and dont be angry of that.

Nader Uskowi said...

The opposition to Assad's rule began in March 2011, at the height of the Arab Spring, staging peaceful marches by tens and hundreds of thousands people in all major cities of the country; a movement that was crushed ruthlessly by the government, leading to the civil war which is now in its fifth year. The Free Syrian Army, a coalition of ten different opposition groups, is among the moderates engaged against the pro-regime forces and ISIL.

The Vienna Talks, and the joint statement by the 19 countries, including Russia and Iran, showed that the current talks is not about continuation of Assad's one-man rule over the country, but the formation of a coalition government that would include the opposition groups. Your instance otherwise is probably a bit too late and not rooted in the realities on the ground.

Anonymous said...

Based on who's idea US or UN? Isn't that a definition of terrorism by itself. Anyway when you attack a country without its government consent you yourself are acting in a way like terrorists, defying the rule and terrorizing the population! Think about it, consider MKO head quarters to be residing in USA soil and Iran attack what it calls terrorists in US soil. What would you call that? Is it unilaterally attacking terrorism or attacking US sovereignty and an illegal act! The point is such act is against the rule and will be a double edge sword for US. By the way you can not make something legitimate by saying it stronger and louder! It has to abide to some logic! Unfortunately, USA politicians and public is used to repeating something and think by repeating it it becomes true! No, you ought to persuade the world that you are right and what you are doing is legitimate and have them with you. You must corner the extremists in every way including with your logic and soft power otherwise you may not succeed as the combine forces of those not persuaded and irritated are always greater than yours! You have to have masses with you to change things towards good.

Anonymous said...

Hate to see Khamaneie right that US is not to be trusted in ME matters, but if US doesn't form a coalition with Iran and Russia against the terrorists as defined by Sec. Council and eliminate the threat and unilaterally act against it it would be chaos and dangerous and wont succeed! This move is at odds against the Geneva 3 joint declaration and it is as if US is trying to act alone!

Nader Uskowi said...

The 19 countries in Vienna were also talking about different forces in the country, not non-forces. On opposition side, the likes of the FSA coalition of 10 different groups.

I believe your insistence that there is no opposition force in the country is not rooted in the realties on the ground and does not even correspond to the statement issued by 19 participants in Vienna earlier this week. Instead of insisting on a non-issue, I suggest you start thinking how to bring the two sides together to end this civil war.

Nader Uskowi said...

Syria is in practical terms a country without a central government. Assad rules over 30 percent or less of the territory. The Kurds have for all practical purposes their own autonomous region and government. ISIL rules over most part of eastern Syria. And the rest of the territories are contested among some 40+ groups vying for hegemony over a town, a province or a region. The central government of Syria under Assad is a concept of the past, not of present and certainly not of future.

When you have a country so fragmented as Syria, you get foreigners interfering to change the course of events in their favor. Foreigners the likes of Iran's Quds Force and IRGC Ground Forces and Gen. Soleimani; Russian air force and special forces; Western and Arab countries supporting different groups; the Lebanese Hezbollah and other Shia militias; all types of foreign Jihadists; etc. In such environment, the only hope for a negotiated settlement is along the line of the Vienna statement by the 19 countries. Normal rules of political behavior do not apply in this atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:31
If you are equating the attack against ISIL with an act of terrorism , you shouldn't waste everybody's time with commenting on middle eastern affairs .

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:35
You're warning against chaos ,danger and policy failure unless coordination with Iran or Russia? Isn't that what is happening now?Or are you suggesting things will turn whole lot worse and uglier ? I just hate to see you turning out to be correct on this one

Anonymous said...

I think it will get uglier if US acts alone. Also US did nothing till now and suddenly wants to act alone. Why? If it wants to act alone then why do they put Geneva 3 in place. What is the point of the joint declaration. This ISIL issue needs all the world against it and should n't be a one country or two problem. KSA and Turkey should know its in their benefit it is eliminated and Iran and Russia should know working with US is teh key for a cheaper approach to eliminating it and USA should know going unilaterally after all this time is hypocratic and would results in Iran and Russia forces clashing with US and forgetting the ISIL eventually, though US unilateral move will be considered not against ISIL (as it was not so till now) but against Assada nd Syrian government and in defense of FSA! Iran and Russia should accept article 6 in joint decleration and go against ISIL with USA together or it will be clash of clans! Who wins the clash of clans in Syria ... ISIL

Anonymous said...

No Nader, despite the chaos in Syria there is still a government their ruling over the majority left and it is still recognized by UN as teh legitimate ruler and therefore you have the first two articles in the joint deceleration.

Anonymous said...

With AKP winning majority in Turkey, KSA trying to end Yemen conflict and be free and USA desiring to go unilaterally in, it seems the Geneva 3 is only for killing time and US and its allies have other plan for Syria and playing Russia, Iran and the world community! Either they want to force their will or find an excuse to invade the country and finish the business! Next meeting would be very interesting to see. I hope it is not true!

Nader Uskowi said...

Anon 3:31 PM,

Syria has a real government and Assad is the legitimate ruler of the country, you are saying. Then you should not be concerned about what I or anyone else say about the situation. Assad has the situation under control. The civil war is just a fluke, and Assad will take care of it. No negotiated settlement needed.

swakil said...

I agree with the previous anon posters. Nader, the Syrian "moderate" opposition, although it exists, is a concept which is in danger. There is no question that the original opposition to Assad's rule was popular and mostly secular. However, things have changed dramatically over the course of the war. Most of the groups fighting on the ground have been tainted by cooperation or outright submission to takfiri terrorists. It is no secret that Saudi, Qatari and Turkish funds are mostly supporting extremist groups, which also happen to be the most effective fighting forces on the ground. The entire concept of a moderate opposition has also changed, as it is relative. One could argue that the Nusra front, the local Syrian affiliate of Al Qaeda, is moderate compared to ISIS. The non-extremist opposition in Syria, including the FSA, have formed several coalitions and joint offensives with the likes of al nusra and jaish al fatah. These "moderates" also are fragmented and divided politically, military and ideologically. It will be hard to get these disparate groups, more than 50 of them by some counts, to agree on what color the sky is, let alone agree on a political solution in Syria. I fear that the only way this civil war will end is through military domination of one faction, just as happened in Afghanistan with the Taliban and more recently in Somalia with the Islamic Courts union before foreign military intervention. In such a case, the least terrible outcome is to cheer for an Syrian-Iranian-Russian-Hezbollah victory. Assad, as cruel as his regime was against opponents, has provided security and stability in Syria for decades and is far preferable to an extremist dominated failed state. Unfortunately, without a more extensive commitment from Iran and Russia, possibly requiring direct involvement of Iranian and Russian regular army troops in large numbers, a military solution is becoming less likely by the day also.

Nader Uskowi said...

Domination militarily of any side in the conflict is not probable anytime soon. And continuation of hostilities for a long period will result in final disintegration of Syria, with ungoverned territories dominated by ISIL and other extremists. The rational and pragmatic solution is a negotiated settlement of conflict among anti-ISIL forces now.

sh a said...

90 percent of the opposition territory is controlled by 2 branches of Al QAEDA (ISIS and Al Nusra) and as far as they're concerned, they don't recognize the UN or the Vienna talks. So even if both opposing sides were to come to a landmark agreement, which is unlikely anyway, it wouldn't make much of a difference in regards to the situation on the ground

Anonymous said...

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=cdd_1446423775 --- Inside Assad's Syria (documentary)

Anonymous said...

Nader you just shirk the arguments:
First of all provide us please with at least 3 opposition political movement's. And please don't say again "at the beginning...of times.." what's now, who's now??? We need at least a few political organisations to built a new Syria that will not be ruled by assad. Please give us a few names so we can tell our Syria friends to vote for them.
And 2nd please can you tell us if it is right that the Un recognize assads government as the syrian government at the moment. I think even Merkel said we have to talk to assad. But more important is who is the opposition in Syria at the moment. Thanks in advance

Nader Uskowi said...

First, civility in debate should be observed. You don't go to a blog under anonymous designation and dictate what the author should or should not say in his response.

As I have already mentioned above, we have a coalition of ten rebel groups which fights under the banner of Free Syrian Army (FSA), comprised of only Syrians (no foreigners as in Jihadists or Shia militias); most of whom are former Syrian military officers who have defected to the opposition.

As to Assad, I do accept he's the president of the country and have always said so. I also believe sooner he leaves the office, better the chances for bringing this conflict into a negotiated settlement. I believe powers like Russia also agree with this assessment. You are, however, entitled to the belief that Assad is the only hope for the future of the country. I disagree.

Thanks for your comments and your readership.

Anonymous said...

Nadel i love your blog. And I love it when mark or you post an article. But some times I think you are a little bit moving to repeat what the ny times or the Washington post writes. Believe me if in the US the ppl would go to street and the government would use force to crush it and a few ppl would die and after this they would create a rebel group...do you think we have to recognize them because their movement at first was a peaceful movement? And now that's very ok to let them walk with rpg and ak47 in the streets to demand for their rights? Is it so?
Such ppl in my opinion even kill the chance and hope of peaceful ppl to create a better future. Because assad now has most of the Syrians on his side. And please don't talk about daesh has much more territory. Assad holds the territory where ppl live. Not just the east desert. It's logical for the SAA to leave those lands alone and concentrate on there actual positions where most of ppl live. Thanks also for the opportunity to post anonymous ; )