If the message to Turkey was not clear already, the overall coalition commander accompanying General Jarrard, Lt. Gen. Paul Funk, elaborated. “You hit us, we will respond aggressively. We will defend ourselves.”
There’s something about the situating of American forces within the Manbij area of northern Syria which defies a rational explanation as to what – exactly – they are doing there. After all, when they first moved into the zone - setting up at a disused air base called al Hasakah a kind of special forces node which could conceivably serve to keep central command abreast of both Russian and Daesh movements in the general area – there was a sense of purposeful military intelligence gathering to the thing.
But that was then – two years ago, when the jihadists were still in control of much of the border regions between Syria and Turkey, and the plans to get them out were in the beginning stages. Now, run out of Raqqa, sent reeling back along the Euphrates River to the point where any real battlefront still in need of monitoring is literally 100s of kilometres away, it is no longer possible to sustain the notion that ‘fighting ISIL’ or some such slogan is a valid explanation for what they are realling doing there.
“We’re very proud of our positions here, and we want to make sure everybody knows it,”
“You hit us, we will respond aggressively. We will defend ourselves.”
Those two quotes, as recently uttered by top field commanders for the US “mission” in Syria, are much more indicative of the way the ground lies than other ‘official’ utterances issued daily by press attaches. Because “everybody” in this case, is pretty much the ‘other’ powers making a military presence in Syrian territory part of their middle eastern agendas – Russia, Turkey, Iran. But most particularly – Turkey – a country which has chosen to flat out threaten the largest and most powerful military in the world… if they don’t leave from where the Turks don’t want them!
Why would a deliberately confrontational stance be chosen as the best way to deal with the very blustery and polemic noise from Ankara? Especially after the performance of the TSK against a rag tag bunch of militia in Afrin has once again demonstrated that entities decline in capability to the level of farce? Remember – these are “NATO allies” we’re talking about here – not some kind of inherited cold war hostiles still playing out old grudges!
We return to the precis as offered up here: these staged confrontations and deliberate provocations happening on many fronts now in Syria are a lead up to the theatrical production which only one player is capable of organizing – and pulling off! Do you still somehow doubt that Israel has the desire to make of Syria a flash point where white on white – America and Russia – blood begins to spill in unison with the brown on brown which has been a central focus of its foreign policy adventures for decades now? Even when it has been explained over and over again that the powerful Chabad ‘advisors’ behind the thrones of both powers are capable of guiding those countries into such a disaster? Fine. Then just watch.
The stage is set.
“We’re very proud of our positions here, and we want to make sure everybody knows it,” said Maj. Gen. Jamie Jarrard, the Special Operations commander for the American-led coalition in Iraq and Syria.