U.S. officials deny Syrian ‘presence patrols’

For some time, the U.S. military has been offering conflicting statements on its presence in Syria.  In October, for example, a general said the U.S. had 4,000 troops in the war-torn Middle Eastern country, or about eight times the official number of roughly 500, before correcting himself and giving that official figure. The Washington Post … Continue reading U.S. officials deny Syrian ‘presence patrols’

Syrian Kurds armed with U.S. special ops gear the Pentagon denies supplying

Less than a year after U.S. special operations forces sparked an international controversy when they were photographed wearing patches representing a Syrian Kurdish militia group, it has emerged that this same militia is now armed with sensitive U.S. weaponry and equipment in its fight against ISIS, though the Pentagon denies supplying it. The militia in … Continue reading Syrian Kurds armed with U.S. special ops gear the Pentagon denies supplying

USA: Clumsy puppet master in the Middle East

The US military reportedly plans to launch an offensive against ISIS in Raqqa -- the Syrian city that serves as the jihadist "caliphate's" de facto capital -- "within weeks," according to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, "and not many weeks." But while the US is quick to point out that it is leading a coalition in … Continue reading USA: Clumsy puppet master in the Middle East

Arrests in Turkey Show War on Terror Ambiguity

Following an incident in May when U.S. Special Forces were photographed near Raqqa, Syria, wearing patches representing what is considered a terrorist group by Turkey - and, technically, by the U.S. as well - a representative of the international press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders has been arrested by Turkish authorities on "terrorist propaganda" charges. … Continue reading Arrests in Turkey Show War on Terror Ambiguity

Patching up differences in the Gray Zone

While US Special Forces are "not on the forward line" in the fight to take back Raqqa from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to a Pentagon spokesman, they are certainly close. Photos from Agence France-Presse published on Thursday, in fact, show US forces in the Syrian village of Fatisah not only … Continue reading Patching up differences in the Gray Zone