It's pretty obvious that tensions are escalating in Northern Syria. The US has sent an undeniable F U message to Turkey. I personally can't interpret this latest report any other way.
*NYT's with direct attribution to names Special Forces personnel.
|American Special Forces soldiers arrived at a front-line outpost outside the northern Syrian city of Manbij on Wednesday
MANBIJ, Syria - Two senior American generals came to the front line outside the Syrian city of Manbij on Wednesdayflying outsized American flags on their vehicles, in case pro-Turkish forces just the other side of the no man's land, 20 yards away, did not realize who they were.
"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.
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."
The trip was the first by such senior United States military officers to the front in northern Syria since Turkey's president threatened to attack the city of Manbij, calling it a bastion of terrorists and demanding that American forces leave.
It's interesting to observe the NYT's mentions the Turkish threats without addressing the FACT that the US is occupying and has annexed Syrian territory- under the guise of "fighting" ISIS
I've talked about Manbij countless times here at the blog- reporting on the US promise, never intended to be kept, to Turkey- August 2016: Turkey: US to Keep Manbij Promise? 3 Step Road Map: Assad Stays. Cooperating with Iran & More
More news from the Syria...
*Lavrov: "Plans for The Partition of Syria Do Exist..."
"Looks like in Syria, the Americans have embarked on the course aimed at dividing the country,"Lavrov said. "Plans for the actual partition of Syria do exist, and we are aware of that. We will ask our American counterparts how they see all that," he added.
That's been obvious for a hell of a long time now!
* NPR: "U.S.-backed Kurds in Syria are turning away from the fight against ISIS to join their comrades in defending against attacks from Turkey - another United States ally."
When did the US backed Kurds ever really fight ISIS? I mean really and truly fight? Why would they have had to? When ISIS simply left. Or the US just transported ISIS out of town? How often have I reported on that collusion between the three players?
*Israel struck Syria. Yet, again.
"The raids early on Wednesday targeted military forces in Jamraya, 10km northwest of Damascus, the Syrian military said in a statement carried by state news agency SANA.
"This morning Israeli warplanes fired several missiles from Lebanese airspace on one of our military positions in the Damascus countryside," it said. "Our air defence systems blocked them and destroyed most of them."
"Syria's air defence system blocked some of the missiles, but others hit ammunition depots near Jamraya," said SOHR chief Rami Abdel Rahman"
Syria's foreign ministry accused Israel of supporting armed groups that have shelled Damascus for days with "rockets and mortar rounds".
*Netanyahu was in Golan (saved this one yesterday)
Quite interesting and highly suggestive that something may be coming from Israel. A possible morale boost ?
"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid a rare visit to the occupied Golan Heights on Tuesday, peering across the nearby border into Syria and warning Israel's enemies not to "test" its resolve.
Netanyahu was accompanied to a hilltop observation point, some three kms (two miles) from a 1974 ceasefire line, by his security cabinet.
They were briefed on the security situation in the area by Israel's armed forces chief and the military commander of the northern region, the prime minister's office said in a statement"
* Russia and Turkey are recovering the jet debris, successfully
"Russian and Turkish forces are jointly working to recover the wreckage of the Russian Su-25 jet, which was shot down in Syrian Idlib province on Saturday, a military official told journalists on Wednesday.
"Russian military intelligence in cooperation with Turkish colleagues is actively working in this direction and not ineffectively," said the military official, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media.
He denied the reports that Syrian special forces have seized the wreckage of the aircraft. "Meaningless reports have no relation to reality. They only harm and not help the cause."
*The Useless Nations says no Syrian reconstruction without a "political transition" in Syria- which obviously means regime change
"Reconstruction in Syria should hinge on "serious and comprehensive political transition," and UN employees should not cooperate with Syrians linked to war crimes, according to a UN document obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper on Wednesday.
The two-page document was compiled after reports that UN officials in Syria had visited regional countries to persuade non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to cooperate and coordinate efforts with Damascus.
The document lists strict standards and principles that UN employees should adhere to, including neutrality, integrity and independence.
The UN is ready to "facilitate reconstruction" in Syria once a serious, comprehensive and negotiated political transition is achieved, the document said"
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