The US-baсked Syrian Democratic Forces, predominantly Kurdish YPG units, have been developing an advance in the eastern countryside of the ISIS self-proclaimed Syrian capital of Raqqah.
The decision to flank the ISIS stronghold from eastern direction followed a failed attempt of the US Special Forces and some SDF units to infiltrate the area of the strategic Tabqa dam.
De-facto, this meant that the US-led forces were not able to achieve their strategic goal west of Raqqah. However, the SDF announced the end of the 2nd and the start of the 3rd stage of the Operation Wrath of Euphrates.
The goal of the 3rd stage is to further isolate the ISIS-held city, including seizing the road to Deir Ezzor. If the SDF captures the road, ISIS units in Deir Ezzor will be cut off from their allies in Raqqah. This will decrease significantly the terrorist group’s ability to redeploy reinforcements from one front to another. Nevertheless, this is under a big question. The US strategists are well known due to their will to keep open exit roads for ISIS terrorists in besieged cities in Syria and Iraq. If the road remains open, ISIS units will likely flow from Raqqah to Deir Ezzor, escalating confrontation with the Syrian army in the besieged city.
While the new US administration is considering a new plan of the Raqqah operation, SDF representative, Rojda Felat, has already claimed that the SDF will need more heavy military equipment, including battle tanks, to storm the city. In other words, the YPG wants to get more equipment to increase its military capabilities. But this doesn’t mean that the group will throw all what it has to storm Raqqah.
Indeed, the fate of Raqqah depends on the decision of the US administration on the issue. Earlier this month, Lieutenant General Jon Davis emphasized that the US would need not only additional airstrikes.
There are already between 300 and 500 US Special Forces troops and unknown number of French and German special forces. This number will likely be increased to retake the ISIS capital in Syria. It could indicate that the Pentagon is going to involve US and NATO forces during the operation, repeating the Mosul case. The real role of the SDF is now unclear. In any case, its goal will be to show that its “local Syrian forces” storm the ISIS stronghold.
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February 7, 2017 – Fort Russ News
American analysts argued in a classified study from the archives of the CIA that many regions of Ukrainian SSR would have supported the anti-Soviet operation.
Written in August 1957, a report entitled “Resistance Factors and Special Forces Actions. Ukraine” was recently declassified and published.
The work on more than 200 pages was written by a group of researchers at Georgetown University by request of one of the divisions of the Ministry of Defense.
It is a complete analysis of the prospects of conducting anti-Soviet armed uprising in the Ukrainian SSR using US special forces.
Analysts laid out the mood of the population, linguistic characteristics and possible ethnic tensions in various regions of the country.
Classified report in many ways is similar to the political and social distribution in Ukraine half a century later.
Certain conclusions of the report miraculously predicted the course of the so-called “Russian spring”, particularly in respect to Donbass.
He also suggested targeting Syria’s senior leadership through a series of terrorist attacks in and around Damascus, according to CBS News.
During the interview, Morell would state:
I’d give them the things that they need to both go after the Assad government but also to have the Iranians and the Russians pay a little price. When we were in Iraq, the Iranians were giving weapons to the Shia’a militia who were killing American soldiers. The Iranians were making us pay a price. We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. We need to make the Russians pay a price.
Charlie Rose would then interrupt Morell to clarify by stating:
You make them pay the price by killing Russians? And killing Iranians?
To which Morell replied emphatically:
Yes. Yes. Covertly. You don’t tell the world about it, right? You don’t stand up at the Pentagon and say we did this. Right? But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.
Morell’s plans echo those laid out by other US policymakers, including those at the Brookings Institution.
And indeed, this appears to be precisely what the US has already been doing. At least two Russian helicopters have been shot down over Syria. The first near the Syrian city of Palmyra by terrorists from the self-proclaimed Islamic State using what Russian sources claimed was a US-made TOW anti-tank missile system, which is also capable of shooting down slow, low-flying aircraft.
The second more recently was over territory in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province controlled by US State Department-designated foreign terrorist organisation, Jabhat Al Nusra. The helicopter was engaged in humanitarian operations relieving a town besieged by Western-backed militant groups.
Nursa forces are now leading a US-backed offensive on the Syrian city of Aleppo.
Both incidents appear to be the precise manifestation of Morell’s admitted conspiracy to kill Russians covertly, with Moscow apparently having gotten the message, and subsequently relaying it to the rest of the world by linking the incidents to US-armed terrorist organisations.
“Morell’s Plan” Could Never Work
Morell’s plan to kill Russians and Iranians, has not deterred Moscow or Tehran. Unlike the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, predicated on a premeditated lie as clearly exposed by the recent UK government-published Iraq Inquiry, Russia and Iran are engaged in Syria at the behest of the Syrian government.
Furthermore, their objective is not simply to project Russian and Iranian power beyond their borders, but to prevent the collapse of Syria into a NATO-induced Libya-style failed state that will serve as a staging ground for the spread of war back over their own borders. In other words, unlike the US’ intervention in Iraq seeking extraterritorial geopolitical gain, Russia and Iran’s intervention is based on very real and immediate existential concerns.
Thus, Morell’s plan to kill Russians and Iranians was an ill-conceived attempt to convince both nations to capitulate to US designs in Syria today, so that an even greater loss of Russian and Iranian lives could be embarked upon by wider proxy war in the near future.
In the process of organising this ill-conceived plan, the US has now further implicated itself as a state-sponsor of terrorism, further undermining its own pretext for intervention in Syria to allegedly “fight terrorism.”
With US-made TOW missiles conveniently, or very likely, covertly falling into the hands of designated terrorist organisations and being turned against Russian and Iranian forces, the US has also further undermined its own narrative revolving around its primacy as a stabilising force both within the region and globally.
July 30, 2016
US officials have revealed that a collection of weapons was stolen from the Panzer Kaserne base near Stuttgart earlier this month and couldn’t be located, leading to concerns that the arms may have ended up on the black market – or in the wrong hands.
“Several semi-automatic pistols, one small-caliber automatic rifle and a shotgun were among the items taken,” said Chris Grey, a spokesman for the US Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID).
“Due to the ongoing investigation, we will not be releasing any additional information or any specifics on the items stolen at this time to protect the integrity of the investigative process,” said Ray Johnson, a spokesman for the Army’s Installation Management Command-Europe.
The Cold War-era facility serves as a local garrison headquarters and an operational base for elite units, including the Green Berets and Navy SEALS.
“We are looking at all possibilities as the investigation continues, but at this point in the investigation it does not appear that an outside entity stole the firearms and equipment or breached the fence line, but we have not completely ruled it out,” Grey said.
The CID has put up a $10,000 reward for any leads.
Such cases are routinely dealt with internally, but considering it has been weeks since the theft with no resolution, the US Army has had to go public.
“German authorities were notified and are working with the Army on the investigation,” said Johnson.
The timing of the disappearance is particularly inopportune.
On July 19, a refugee pledging allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) attacked tourists on a train, and a German-Iranian teenager went on a shooting spree in Munich on July 22. The next day, a Syrian refugee blew himself up at a music festival.
“I wouldn’t overplay it – it was only a few weapons, and no indications it was an outside source,” Peter Schulze, Professor of International Relations at the University of Gottingen, told RT. “Of course this will not contribute to a more relaxed atmosphere among the German people, as it adds fire to the existing angst about their use in a potential terrorist attack.”
June 3, 2016
US special forces soldiers have been caught on camera fighting on the front lines with the Kurds against ISIS in Syria.
The troops were spotted by an AFP photographer, who said there are just over a dozen of them in the village of Fatisah; just 30 miles north of Raqqa.
Some of the troops are wearing plain clothes, while others are in military garb carrying the insignia of the Kurdish YPG:
This takes the mission to ‘assist’ quite far indeed.
Watch a video of this report below, or here on Youtube:
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook admitted that:
“Our special operations forces in the past have, yes, worn insignias and other identifying marks with their partner forces,”
“They do what they can to blend in.”
However, he stressed:
“They are not on the forward line. They are providing advice and assistance, their advise-and-assist role has not changed.”
Cook couldn’t explain the difference between the forward line and the front line, saying:
“I don’t have a yardstick for you. This is a fluid situation.”
Unfortunately for the United States, there is absolutely nothing fluid about the fact that these troops are operating illegally in Syria as they do not have the explicit permission of the Syrian government to be there; unlike the Russians who did have such a mandate.
What do you think these special forces soldiers have been tasked with doing exactly?
From Fort Russ
May 29, 2015
Svpressa.ru (“Free Press”)
Translated by Kristina Rus
[How about the Right Sector and volunteer battalions, whose resources are so envied by the Ukrainian military, in light of recent revelations that Kolomoisky is simply a front for US financing? – KR]
The recent events in Donbass deserve a closer look. The disturbing chronicle is as follows:
1. On May 22 at 13.00 from the Kambrod district of the city of Lugansk the police received a report from local residents that there was a suspicious group of armed men in camouflage calling themselves militias. Because the unknown were asking about the location of military bases, the townspeople became suspicious. To Kambrod went a rapid response team of the Ministry of Interior of LPR. It was fired on. During the ensuing fighting some of the strangers were killed, one detained. On his person was discovered a Western style camouflaged uniform, a mask and a list of unidentified phone numbers.
Lugansk is conducting passport checks to identify persons illegally residing on the territory of the city.
2. On May 23 at 17.40 on the territory of Donetsk region between checkpoints “Gorlovka” (under the control of DPR militia) and “Mayorsk” (held by the armed forces of Ukraine) the car of the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (SCCC) was fired on from automatic small arms. In the car was a head of the Russian office at SCCC, Colonel-General Alexander Lentsov, and the accompanying officers. The group was returning from the village of Shirokino, where there are continued clashes and shelling.
The attack on Lentsov’s car was not successful.
3. On the same day at 18.50 near the village of Mikhailovka on a land mine (according to other sources — an anti-personnel mine MON-50) a convoy of three cars was blown up and then shot at with machine guns. In one of them was the popular commander of the “Ghost” battalion of LPR army, Alexey Mozgovoy. The battalion commander was killed, along with six people accompanying him.
Let us leave aside bitter disputes immediately erupted about who actually killed Mozgovoy: his own (as argued by Kiev), “Ukrainian partisans” from the group “Shadows” (insists their leader Aleksandr Gladky) or someone very professional subversive group, specially sent to LPR for the elimination of Mozgovoy. Something else is more important. The sum of events of the last days, in my opinion, shows that a subversive war had sharply intensified in Novorossia. Intensified by whom is a separate issue. And more about it – below.
For now we will make another assumption. All winter military analysts on both sides of the front fed us with forecasts: the snow will melt, the thaw will be over, and the war for Donbass will ignite with a new force. And what? The snow is long gone, the land in those parts had dried up a month ago. But no one is going on the offensive, the parties are limited only to shooting weapons of all calibers.
The issue is that the nature of the civil war in Ukraine has changed dramatically.
Vladimir Putin already clearly stated that he will not allow anyone to destroy People’s Republics of Donbass. But Petro Poroshenko is not only unable to give his military the command “Stop!”, but even has no right to soften the hawkish rhetoric in Kiev. In this case, the President will simply choke on the smoke from burning tires. So all fall and winter both sides of the confrontation were digging trenches, building bunkers, mined fields, resupplied, trained and equipped combat units. This gigantic work produced a result.
At the front formed a kind of military parity, when any attempt to advance is fraught with high losses, but does not guarantee any reasonable result. What may be the goal of any offensive today? As for the militia, and for the Ukrainian military?
The militia decided not to go to Kiev last year. Did not take Mariupol, although they were just two steps away from it. In turn, the Ukrainian army and volunteer battalions unsuccessfully and incompetently fought all fall for a tiny (even at the scale of this war) Donetsk airport. How could this army seriously at least try to take control of the metropolis of one million people? Yeah, on the streets of a hostile Donetsk alone a 60 thousand-strong group that is involved on the part of Kiev in the so-called ATO will just dissolve, melt away and will be beaten by the enraged townspeople. And there are still Lugansk, Gorlovka, etc. Where can the Ukrainian military score so many garrisons?
Let’s skip the politicians and take the military — they are more frank and “militarily” straight forward. For example, U.S. Lieutenant General John Mulholland, from January 2015, the Deputy Director of CIA for military affairs. In a recent meeting with influential politicians in Washington, he declared that “everything must be done to draw Russia into a war with Ukraine”.
How can in such a difficult and risky business General Mulholland help personally? Oh, he has skills. In recent past, the current deputy director of the CIA served as the deputy commander of special operations forces of the Armed forces of the United States. That is, Mulholland for four years supervised professional saboteurs and spies. Strangely after his joining the CIA it appeared that special operations forces today bear the brunt of the fighting in Donbass.
If so, than these are certainly not Ukrainian special ops. But if there are Ukrainian subversive groups in Donbass, then they are just a back up of the others. Because Kiev had only just begun to create their own special units of this type (“SP” wrote in detail in April about it).
However, the Ukrainian General staff for several months had a special ops directorate. There’s even a commander — Colonel Sergey Krivonos. But it is only in the beginning of the way. At least in April Krivonos said: “We have a deadline, so we have to start creation of special operations forces as soon as possible and not talk, but act concretely.”
Who, then, is fighting instead of Krivonos, who has a deadline? We will look through the old binders. For example, here is a report from July of last year. In an atmosphere of extreme secrecy 180 commando-instructors arrived in Kiev from the American special ops base in Fort Benning (GA). All speak Russian fluently. Foreign guests, without delay, were transferred to Mariupol, where they commenced the training of Ukrainian students. But we don’t know if the organized by Americans Mariupol special purpose courses are only about theory? Or is there supposed to be battle practice? And if Yes, then do the guests from the USA participate?
Second. There is a ton of information that the Georgian forces, already graduated from the Fort Benning school, are swarming in Donbass. For example, take the headline story of the capture on May 16 near the city of Schastje of the two wounded either former or current Russian special ops fighters from the 3rd brigade of GRU of the General staff of the Russian Armed forces, captain Evgeny Erofeev and Sergeant Alexander Alexandrov. In Ukraine a debate is raging: who had really captured our military? Who should receive the medals? Personnel of the 92nd mechanized brigade of the armed forces or the 24-th attack battalion “Aidar”? And maybe members of the military counterintelligence of SBU?
However, here is a comment of the deputy corps commander of the Ministry of Defence of DPR, Eduard Basurin: “There is a reason for all this confusion of Kiev, about who exactly participated in the capture of these fighters: soldiers of the 92nd brigade of the Ukrainian armed forces, or punishers from “Aidar”, or SBU. According to updated information of our intelligence, that day in the area there was a subversive group of Georgian spetsnaz“.
Basurin said that the base camp of Georgian spetsnaz operates under the cover of a training center of the Ukrainian national guard and is located in the district of Severodonetsk. So its existence was only known to the SBU. Neither 92nd brigade, nor “Aidar” knew about it. Therefore, having participated in the overall battle, they believe that when they shout in Kiev “Glory to the heroes!”, it is about them. And only them.
Note that reports about the participation of Georgian commandos broke through the veil of military secrecy even before. It was reported in the press that Alexander Grigolashvili who died in Donbass on December 18, 2014 served in the special forces of the Ministry of Defense of Georgia. Even earlier, in the battle for the Donetsk airport was killed either former or current Georgian commando Tamaz Sukhiashvili.
[Interestingly, one of the most famous Novorossia commanders Givi is Georgian, who grew up in Donbass, as many people of the Soviet Union moved freely and settled outside of their home Republics – KR]
There is even more evidence about the participation in the fighting in the South-East of Ukraine of special forces from Poland. So, on December 8 of last year, militia radio intelligence intercepted conversations of the enemy in Polish language. And after a few hours, on the night of December 9, 11 kilometers from the settlement of Nikishino there was a clash with a subversive group of eight people. All of them were killed. A detailed examination discovered stripes of the special forces regiment “Jednostka Wojskowa Komandosów” of the Armed forces of Poland.
On June 26, 2014 near the height of Saur-Grave a sniper from Poland was killed, the latest large-caliber American rifle was found by his side. Such weapons are used only by spetsnaz.
According to militia intelligence, there are nineteen subversive groups operating today on the side of the enemy, formed from commandos arrived from beyond the borders of Ukraine. It is obvious that in the coming months they will not let the war in Donbass fade away. No matter what the politicians say.