Sunday, October 26, 2008

US Attacks Syrian Outpost

US forces were involved in an air-ground raid in Syria today that reportedly left eight Syrian 'workers' dead and several buildings destroyed.There were no reported US casualties.

The Syrians told al-Jazeera's Arabic news that th eAmericans had killed several children in th eraid and the BBC dutifully picked this nonsense up, but aside from al-Beeb no other Western media sources was silly enough to be sucked in by this.

What was actually going on was a raid by special forces targeting the jihadi network of foreign fighters that runs through Syria into Iraq. The Syrians, in spite of a lot of rhetoric have been remiss to shut down the traffic in men, money and arms to keep the Iraq insurgency alive.

"We are taking matters into our own hands," the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the political sensitivity of cross-border raids.

The attack came just days after the commander of U.S. forces in western Iraq said American troops were redoubling efforts to secure the Syrian border, which he called an "uncontrolled" gateway for fighters entering Iraq.

A Syrian government statement said the helicopters attacked the Sukkariyeh Farm near the town of Abu Kamal, five miles inside the Syrian border. Four helicopters attacked a civilian building under construction shortly before sundown and fired on workers inside, the statement said.

The government said civilians were among the dead, including four children.

A resident of the nearby village of Hwijeh said some of the helicopters landed and troops exited the aircraft and fired on a building. He said the aircraft flew along the Euphrates River into the area of farms and several brick factories. The witness spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information,

Syria's Foreign Ministry said it summoned the charges d'affaires of the United States and Iraq to protest against the strike.

"Syria condemns this aggression and holds the American forces responsible for this aggression and all its repercussions. Syria also calls on the Iraqi government to shoulder its responsibilities and launch and immediate investigation into this serious violation and prevent the use of Iraqi territory for aggression against Syria," the government statement said.

The area targeted is just across the border from the Iraqi city of Qaim, which had been known as the main crossing point for the jihadis.

On Thursday, U.S. Maj. Gen. John Kelly said Iraq's western borders with Saudi Arabia and Jordan were fairly tight as a result of good policing by security forces in those countries but that Syria was a "different story."

"The Syrian side is, I guess, uncontrolled by their side," Kelly said. "We still have a certain level of foreign fighter movement."

I'd also speculate that while the US may have been planning this for awhile, we may have had intel about a big fish in the vicinity.

We may find out more later...


Anonymous said...

this is about five years and one slim pickens ride short.

Anonymous said...

caroline glick with i think the jerusalem post said on iba news that she believes this raid was done to assist hussein. i didn't understand her reasoning but she did come out and state clearly that the current occupant of the white house supports hussein in the current US election.
bibi in his address to the knesset stated that iran will not become nuclear if he is the israeli PM.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Louie.

Loved the Slim Pickens reference!

I don't know about this raid suporting Obama ( rumor has it that a major al-Qaeda kingpin was killed in the raid)but I certainly agree with her about Bush wanting Obama to get elected.

I've already explained why...there's no love lost between Bush and McCain, and Bush figures Obama will only last one term...and then Jeb can run, in 2012.

For that if nothing else (and to watch Olbermann's head explode on national TV)I'm hoping McCain pulls it off.

Keep Smilin'


Anonymous said...

There are a number of things about this raid that don't make sense. When I first heard about it, I was skeptical. I thought it was disinformation put forth by the enemy done to stoke anger against the Americans.

Apparently the Americans have confirmed the raid. The conventional wisdom that seems to be shaping up in the media is that the diplomatic track was yielding positive results and this military action by the Americans has undermined all of that.

What I think is clear is Iran, probably in coordination with Syria and perhaps other countries is planning a major military hit on the American main land. With America being cooperative in the diplomatic process it would have been much harder for the Iranians and their allies to justify the planned attack on the Aemrican main land. As such, they needed to "fan the flames."

This likely starts by an undercover Syrian operative meeting with the Aemricans and sharing "intel" on Al Qaeada and perhaps other Islamic terrorist figures operating in Syria. The Syrians likely gave the Aemricans false information in order to goad the Americans into attacking a non military target or worse for the Aemricans a civilian target. This way the Syrians score a huge public relations victory and it makes it easier for them and the Iranians to justify the planned hit on the Aemrican main land. After all, we can't have a submissive enemy now can we, if we are going to justify attacking them. In summary, the Syrians likely gave the Aemricans false intel to fan the flames of war.

Another problem with this is Syrian air space is guarded by Russian defense systems. These are the best in the world. While the Israelis were able to beat this system, the Aemricans do not have the flying skills or the technological sophistication that would be necessary to defeat this system. I'm sure the Israelis shared their findings on how to beat the system with the Americans but the American learning curve on how to beat this system would be vast. It would probably take a minimum of servarl years. The Syrians likely baited the Aemricans into attacking this target. Had the system been active all American aircraft would have been lost before they could reach the target.

Not only this, but Syria has a well trained and well led military. Much of this is thanks to the Russians. It seems unlikely that the Aemrican Special Forces could have attacked an Al Qaeda strong hold in Syria and not come away with heavy casualties.

While I would love to believe the Aemricans managed to defeat the best air defense system in the world, engaged a top notch military force in a ground battle, and managed to come away with no known casualties, this sounds to good to be true. As such, it probably is.

I hope and pray my analysis of this is wrong. While I agree with Louie that we should have begun this about five years ago, I don't think it is too late. We can still win but it will take a firm committment on the part of the American people and America's leaders. I also think we are going to need help from our allies in Western Europe, however, if we must fight without them, we can still win.

A winning strategy will begin by improving our intellegence capabilities, specifically our human intellegence needs to be improved. Our intellegence was wrong on Iraq's WMD. The weapons were not where we thought they would be. Our intellegence completely missed Russia's planned military attack on Georgia. Aemrican intellegence services have failed miserably over the last thirty years or so. If Aemrica is to survive, let alone thrive, we MUST fix our intellegence agencies.