Αρχική > Ένοπλες Δυνάμεις, Διεθνή - Γεοπολιτικά, Ισλάμ, Παραθρησκευτισμός, Ρωσία, Σημαντικές αναρτήσεις, Τρομοκρατία, επιλογές διαχείρησης > Η ΡΩΣΙΚΗ ΕΚΣΤΡΑΤΕΙΑ ΣΤΗΝ ΣΥΡΙΑ -60:ΠΡΟΒΛΗΜΑΤΑ ΤΩΝ ΗΠΑ ΚΑΙ ΣΧΕΣΕΙΣ ΜΕ ΡΩΣΙΑ Μικρή συλλογή άρθρων)

Η ΡΩΣΙΚΗ ΕΚΣΤΡΑΤΕΙΑ ΣΤΗΝ ΣΥΡΙΑ -60:ΠΡΟΒΛΗΜΑΤΑ ΤΩΝ ΗΠΑ ΚΑΙ ΣΧΕΣΕΙΣ ΜΕ ΡΩΣΙΑ Μικρή συλλογή άρθρων)

A)US-backed Syrian rebels suffer heavy losses

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Lt. Gen. Raymond A. Thomas III testifies during an Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2016.

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon report that it has likely killed the Islamic State’s top military commander near the front lines in Syria is evidence of the terrorist group’s dire position in the war, Lt. Gen. Tony Thomas, who is nominated to lead Special Operations Command, told the Senate on Wednesday.

But the strategic victory was built on “extraordinary” battlefield losses among allied Syrian rebels in northeastern Syria who are at the center of the U.S. military’s renewed effort to train-and-equip friendly forces against the militants, Thomas told the Senate Armed Services Committee. More than 70 Syrian rebels were killed during the past month, he said.

Thomas’ testimony comes a day after the announcement that coalition airstrikes are believed to have killed Abu Omar al-Shishani, a 30-year-old Chechen, near the town of al-Shadadi, where the United States has focused strikes and cleared vast stretches of territory.

“I think it is telling, it speaks volumes about how dire their fight is that their senior military commander was in the thick of it at a relatively tactical location,” Thomas said.

The Pentagon on Wednesday could not confirm al-Shishani had been killed in the March 4 strike about 80 miles east of Raqqa, the terrorist group’s defacto capital.

Shishani, described as the Islamic State group’s “emir of war” or defense secretary, likely traveled to the front lines from Raqqa to rally his troops, who have taken heavy losses recently in battles with Syrian Democratic Forces, said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.

Thomas said the progress around al-Shadadi was possible by developing several surrogate rebel forces in northeastern Syria through the use of special operations forces. The effort has allowed the U.S. coalition to clear chunks of territory that are the combined size of New Jersey, Delaware and Rhode Island.

The U.S. trained and equipped rebels “have performed very, very well,” Thomas said. “Every time they’ve met their march objective on time or ahead of time and with pretty extraordinary losses.”

Special operators on the ground in Syria were able to confirm that 70-75 rebel fighters were killed in battles during the past month, Thomas said.

“They’re losing a lot of people to carry the fight against [the Islamic State], so I’m impressed with their tenacity,” he said.

The Obama administration’s original Syria train-and-equip program was viewed as an abject failure. During the summer, U.S. Central Command admitted only a handful of rebels had been produced by the $500-million program approved by Congress in 2014.

Now a new effort is underway as the role of special operations expands in Iraq and Syria. Last month, an Islamic State chemical weapons engineer was captured in Iraq by special operators, which appears to be part of the re-started Obama administration initiative.

Still, the war in Syria remains intense and complex, and the train-and-equip program still has skeptics in Congress.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., said conditions in Syria are testing his past belief that sending American trainers and weapons to that country would make the United States safer.

“What I am hearing from the region further supports my belief that maybe it hasn’t,” he said.

Stars and Stripes reporter Corey Dickstein contributed to this story.

tritten.travis@stripes.com
Twitter: @Travis_Tritten

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Β)Success and failure in Syria

Success and failure in Syria

Let’s start with the success:

If media reports are to be believed, Tarkhan Batirashvili, who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Omar al-Shishani – Omar the Chechen – has been killed by a United States air strike in Syria. He is one of the most well-known foreign fighters in ranks of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Originally from the Republic of Georgia in the South Caucasus, his fair skin and red beard have become a regular feature in ISIL propaganda.

If true, his death would be a significant, but not fatal, blow to ISIL, which is also known as ISIS. It would also mark the death of the most senior ISIL commander by the US-led anti-ISIL coalition to date.

OK, obviously killing a bad guy is great news.  But then you read more about this particular bad guy, and find out that we’re the ones who trained him.

It was Shishani who posed with the stolen US Humvees that ISIS had seized from Mosul and brought back into Syria.

And it was Shishani who had led successful ISIS military campaigns throughout Syria as well as a blitz through western Iraq that put the group within 100 miles of Baghdad.

These military successes are not simply the result of any innate military capabilities. Instead, Shishani spent years conducting military campaigns against the Russians, first as a Chechen rebel and then as a soldier in the Georgian military. During Shishani’s four years in the military, from 2006 to 2010, his unit received some degree of training from American special forces units.

“He was a perfect soldier from his first days, and everyone knew he was a star,” an unnamed former comrade who is still active in the Georgian military told McClatchy DC. “We were well trained by American special forces units, and he was the star pupil.”

“We trained him well, and we had lots of help from America,” another anonymous Georgian defense official told McClatchy about Shishani. “In fact, the only reason he didn’t go to Iraq to fight alongside America was that we needed his skills here in Georgia.”

And that right there is our problem in a nutshell.  We can’t seem to figure out the good guys from the bad, and some of the times when we find good guys, they turn out to not be good at actually fighting.  Recall this:

So, I get the reticence to introduce American ground combat elements to the fight in Syria, but everytime we train people, they either stink at actually fighting, or they end up fighting against us.   Here’s another story from today:

But the strategic victory was built on “extraordinary” battlefield losses among allied Syrian rebels in northeastern Syria who are at the center of the U.S. military’s renewed effort to train-and-equip friendly forces against the militants, Thomas told the Senate Armed Services Committee. More than 70 Syrian rebels were killed during the past month, he said…

The U.S. trained and equipped rebels “have performed very, very well,” Thomas said. “Every time they’ve met their march objective on time or ahead of time and with pretty extraordinary losses.”

Special operators on the ground in Syria were able to confirm that 70-75 rebel fighters were killed in battles during the past month, Thomas said.

“They’re losing a lot of people to carry the fight against [the Islamic State], so I’m impressed with their tenacity,” he said.

Hey, I’m all for tenacity, but training up guys so they can go off and get killed almost immediately just seems like it would breed resentment.  The only ones I have any faith in is the Peshmerga (the Kurds) but we can’t openly work with them for fear of turning off our Turkish allies.

So I guess this is one step back and then one step forward?  We train a guy, he decides to fight us, and so we kill him.  As far as a long term plan of success, that one kind of stinks.  I admit I can’t think of any better idea, and everything I think of just comes out to varying degrees of how bad an idea it is.  Anyone have any thoughts?  Besides using nuclear devices to turn the whole area to glass, which is neither helpful nor ever going to happen.

MOTHAX’s blog

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Γ)SOCOM chief: US lacks plan for long-term detention of Islamic State fighters

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The commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, Gen. Joseph L. Votel, testifies during an Armed Services Committee hearing March 8, 2016, on Capitol Hill.

 

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