Commander-in-Chief Trump sends more troops to Syria, almost doubles U.S. invasion force

Stop Supporting Terrorism in Syria 

U.S. Is Sending 400 More Troops to Syria

The New York Times, March 9, 2017

The United States is sending an additional 400 troops to Syria, American officials said on Thursday.

The increase, which includes a team of Army Rangers and a Marine artillery unit that have already arrived in Syria, represents a near-doubling of the number of American troops there.

The United States military has declined to say how many troops it has deployed in Syria. The formal troop cap is 503, but commanders have the authority to temporarily exceed that limit.

The Rangers’ presence became apparent last weekend when they were seen driving around the northern Syrian town of Manbij in Stryker vehicles and armored Humvees. The Washington Post earlier reported the deployment of the Marine artillery battery.

The United States is already carrying out airstrikes in Syria and has deployed surface-to-surface rockets in the northern part of the country. Before he left office, President Barack Obama approved the use of a small number of Apache attack helicopters. Now, Marine artillery is being added, along with logistical support and training and protection in dealing with improvised explosive devises.

Gen. Joseph L. Votel, the head of the United States Central Command, told reporters on Thursday that he was open to asking for more conventional military units if they are needed. “I feel very comfortable with mixing Special Operations forces with conventional forces,” General Votel said. “That is the way we fight.”

Turning to other regions, General Votel said he agreed the Afghan conflict was stalemated and supported the appeal from the American commander in Afghanistan for additional troops.

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Associated Press, 10 February 2017:

Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview released on Friday that the United States is welcome to join the battle against "terrorists" in Syria — as long as it is in cooperation with his government and respects the country's sovereignty. Assad said he has not had any communication — direct or indirect — with President Donald Trump or any official form the new U.S. administration. Assad's government has labelled all armed opposition to his rule — including the U.S.-backed rebels — as "terrorists."

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Wikipedia, 10 March 2017:

"On 8 March, various news outlets reported that conventional US troops as part of an amphibious task force left their ships in the Middle East and deployed to Syria, where they established an outpost from which they can provide artillery support for U.S.-backed local forces. The deployment marks a new escalation in the U.S. war in Syria, and puts more conventional U.S. troops in the battle, that until now had primarily used Special Operations units. The force is part of the 11th MEU, 400 US Marines from the Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 4th Marines will crew an artillery battery of M-777 Howitzers; whilst additional infantrymen from the unit will provide security, while resupplies will be handled by part of the expeditionary force’s combat logistics element. A defense official with direct knowledge of the operation said the Marines were flown from Djibouti to Kuwait and then into Syria. There are 900 US soldiers and Marines deployed to Syria in total (500 special forces troops were already on the ground to train and support the SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces]); under the existing limits put in place by the Obama administration, the formal troop cap for Syria is 503, but commanders have the authority to temporarily exceed that limit to meet military requirements. approximately 100 US Army Rangers in Strykers and armored Humvees deployed in and around Manbij, US officials said they are there to discourage Syrian, Russian, or Turkish troops from making any moves against US-backed forces, specifically preventing them inadvertently coming under fire."

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RT, 23 February 2017:

McCain secretly travels to Syria to meet with troops, leaders, opposition

[Photo: Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters. Northern Raqqa province, Syria.]

Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) made a secret trip to a Kurdish-held region in northern Syria last weekend to speak with US military officials, rebel fighters, and leaders in the region.

On Wednesday, Julie Tarallo, a spokeswoman for McCain, confirmed that he’d made the trip, calling it a “valuable opportunity to assess dynamic conditions on the ground in Syria and Iraq.”

Tarallo also praised President Donald Trump’s late January order to conduct a a 30-day review of US strategy to combat Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), saying that “Senator McCain looks forward to working with the administration and military leaders to optimize our approach for accomplishing ISIL’s lasting defeat.”

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is now compiling a “preliminary plan” to comply with Trump’s order.

The unusual trip, which the Wall Street Journal said was organized with help of the US military, was the first time a US lawmaker has traveled to the region since American special operations forces began fighting alongside local forces.

McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, made a short trip to Syria to speak with Kurdish fighters and US troops.

Mattis also recently made a trip to Iraq to refine the plan ordered by Trump while General Joseph L. Votel, the head of US Central Command told the Wall Street Journal that more American troops would be needed.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has objected to US troops working with Kurdish troops to capture the city.

“The change of administration in the United States presents an important opportunity to review and reassess current policy in Syria,” McCain said in a statement released Monday.

In his statement, McCain says that he has discussed proposals to combat Islamic State with Erdogan, including establishing safe zones in Syria.

During his trip, McCain also met with Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

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Assad condemns Trump's invasion force

Trump and Obama's invaders are in Syria to defend the USA's terrorist proxies from the Syrian Army and its allies.

Asma Assad

Assad calls U.S. forces 'invaders'

Reuters, Mar 12, 2017

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said U.S. forces in Syria were "invaders" and he had yet to see "anything concrete" emerge from U.S. President Donald Trump's vow to prioritize the fight against Islamic State.

"We haven't seen anything concrete yet regarding this rhetoric," Assad said in an interview with Chinese TV station Phoenix.

This week, the U.S.-led coalition announced that around 400 additional U.S. forces had deployed to Syria.

Asked about a deployment of U.S. forces near the northern city of Manbij, Assad said: "Any foreign troops coming to Syria without our invitation are invaders. We don't think this is going to help".

Around 500 U.S. forces are already in Syria.

Assad dismissed the U.S.-backed military campaign against Islamic State in Syria as "only a few raids".

Assad noted that the Russian-backed Syrian army was now "very close" to Raqqa city after advancing to the western banks of the Euphrates River this week - a rapid gain that has brought it to the frontier of areas held by the U.S.-backed forces.

He said Raqqa was "a priority for us", but indicated that there could also be a parallel army attack towards Deir al-Zor in the east, near the Iraqi border. Deir al-Zor province is almost completely controlled by Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

The Deir al-Zor region had been "used by ISIS as a route for logistics support between ISIS in Iraq and ISIS in Syria, so whether you attack the stronghold or you attack the route that ISIS uses, it (has) the same result", Assad said.

With Russian and Iranian military support, Assad firmly has the upper hand in the war with rebels who have been trying to topple him with backing from states including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Assad Democratic Freedom Fighters

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