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400 dead Russians and Syrians, yet no one knows who ordered them to attack US forces in Syria
Middle East Monitor ^ | Feb 24, 2018 | staff

Posted on 02/24/2018 7:18:39 AM PST by Eddie01

The United States is still unsure who directed a February 7 attack on US and US-backed forces in Syria, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Saturday, even as he acknowledged accounts that Russian civilian contractors were involved.

Reuters has reported that about 300 men working for a Kremlin-linked Russian private military firm were either killed or injured in Syria.

The US has estimated about 100 pro-Syrian government forces were killed by US strikes to repel the Febuary 7 attack.

Russian military officers told the United States during the incident that Moscow was not involved. The Pentagon has declined to comment on the exact makeup of the attacking forces and Mattis appeared at a loss to explain the incident 10 days later.

“I still cannot give you any more information on why they would do this. But they took direction from someone,” Mattis told reporters flying back to Washington with him from a trip to Europe, according to a Pentagon transcript.

“Was it local direction? Was it from external sources? Don’t ask me. I don’t know.”

Mattis said he “understood” that Moscow had acknowledged contractors were involved, without elaborating on whether that understanding came from press reports. Russian officials have told reporters that five Russian citizens may have been killed in clashes with US-led coalition forces.

Still, Russian officials deny they deploy private military contractors in Syria, saying Moscow’s only military presence is a campaign of air strikes, a naval base, military instructors training Syrian forces, and limited numbers of special forces troops.

But according to people familiar with the deployment, Russia is using large numbers of the contractors in Syria because that allows Moscow to put more boots on the ground without risking regular soldiers whose deaths have to be accounted for.

The contractors, mostly ex-military, carry out missions assigned to them by the Russian military, the people familiar with the deployment said. Most are Russian citizens, though some have Ukrainian and Serbian passports.

The United States and Russia, while backing opposite sides in the Syria conflict, have taken pains to make sure that their forces do not accidentally collide. But the presence of the Russian contractors adds an element of unpredictability.

The US military has said that in its effort to repel the attack on February 7, US forces on the ground called in coalition strikes for more than three hours, involving F-15E fighter jets, MQ-9 drones, B-52 bombers, AC-130 gunships and AH-64 Apache helicopters.

The US military has said the attacking forces were aligned with the Syrian government and were backed by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and mortars.

“I doubt that 257 people all just decided on their individual own selves to suddenly cross the river into enemy territory and start shelling a location and maneuvering tanks against it,” Mattis said.

“So whatever happened, we’ll try to figure it out. We’ll work with, obviously, anyone who can answer that question, but I cannot, at this time.”


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia; Syria; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: attack; chechnya; dead; erdogan; hassannasrallah; hezbollah; iran; kurdistan; lebanon; plausibledeniability; receptayyiperdogan; russia; serbia; syria; turkey; waronterror
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God bless our military.
1 posted on 02/24/2018 7:18:39 AM PST by Eddie01
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To: Eddie01

GET THE HELL OUT.


2 posted on 02/24/2018 7:20:06 AM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist (If the illegal immigration issue were Social Security, it'd be privatized by now.)
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To: Eddie01

Well they won’t do that again.


3 posted on 02/24/2018 7:20:49 AM PST by ichabod1 (People don't want to believe it be what it is but it do.)
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To: Eddie01

Not to beat up on Reagan, as I guess he didn’t know (Beirut Bombing) - but it looks like the military under Trump is ALLOWED to carry loaded weapons. Lots of funerals if Hillary was in command.


4 posted on 02/24/2018 7:29:30 AM PST by BobL (I shop at Walmart and eat at McDonald's...I just don't tell anyone)
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To: Eddie01

Author John Ringo posted an analysis of what happened and his commentary was hilarious. I don’t know where his info comes from, but if indeed factual is worth a read. It’s on his profile on the bookface.


5 posted on 02/24/2018 7:31:13 AM PST by BudgieRamone (Everybody loves a bonk on the head.)
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To: Eddie01

Being in our military under Potus Trump, where you are allowed to kill/maim/neutralize anyone trying to kill you is the way to fight wars.


6 posted on 02/24/2018 7:33:11 AM PST by Grampa Dave (Never pick a fight with an angry beehive of 63+ million Trump Deplorables. You will lose!)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

GET THE HELL OUT.

____________________________

Exactly...When did Congress authorize a troop presence in Syria? If they did, why isn’t it front-page news everyday?


7 posted on 02/24/2018 7:38:10 AM PST by Bishop_Malachi (Liberal Socialism - A philosophy which advocates spreading a low standard of living equally.)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

Why are we spending money and losing lives in Syria, while leaving our own back door wide open - with no wall? Upside down priorities


8 posted on 02/24/2018 7:39:16 AM PST by WilliamIII
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To: Eddie01

Putin probing our response. Obviously not Obama’s military.


9 posted on 02/24/2018 7:41:52 AM PST by Spok ("What're you going to believe-me or your own eyes?" -Marx (Groucho))
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To: Eddie01

“involving F-15E fighter jets, MQ-9 drones, B-52 bombers, AC-130 gunships and AH-64 Apache helicopters.”

That’s a whole lot of bad day right there.

L


10 posted on 02/24/2018 7:42:07 AM PST by Lurker (President Trump isn't our last chance. President Trump is THEIR last chance.)
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To: Eddie01

Don’t really care.


11 posted on 02/24/2018 7:44:06 AM PST by bigbob (Trust Trump. Trust Sessions. The Great Awakening is at hand...MAGA!)
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To: Eddie01

“Russian military officers told the United States during the incident that Moscow was not involved.” Aren’t they using that line in Ukraine too?


12 posted on 02/24/2018 7:48:35 AM PST by Midwesterner53
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To: BudgieRamone

John Ringo on Syria Russian attack -

https://www.tigerdroppings.com/rant/politics/john-ringo-on-what-really-went-down-with-the-syrian-russian-airstrikes-mass-us-firepower/75484374/

feel good story, worth reading. Thanks


13 posted on 02/24/2018 8:00:51 AM PST by Eddie01
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To: Eddie01

I honestly feel bad for the Russian people, this happened under Putin, the Putin fan boy poophead Russian trolls represent Putin and in no way, the Russian people, who would toss Putin out on his ear in free reelections.


14 posted on 02/24/2018 8:06:17 AM PST by BeadCounter
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To: Lurker

Spooky/Spectre fire alone will cause any enemy to surrender.


15 posted on 02/24/2018 8:08:25 AM PST by txhurl (The Final Thunderdome: Two Americas enter, One America leaves.)
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To: Grampa Dave
With the help of "girl power" in the infantry that goes full steam ahead, army doing away with grenade and land nav qualifications and USMC OCS doing away with pass/fail on events that were weeding out females.

Not to mention mentally unstable self-mutilators and transsexuals, although that last one Trump at least tried to do something about, over the outrageous public objections of Mattis.

Trump is doing well in a lot of ways. As far as I can tell, he's failing on the military. Tossing a few million extra bucks their way is pointless if it gets spent on increased gender-sensitivity and diversity training, which appears to be the case.

16 posted on 02/24/2018 8:08:56 AM PST by Wyrd bi ful ard (Flag burners can go screw -- I'm mighty PROUD of that ragged old flag)
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To: Wyrd bið ful aræd

*doing away with grande quals and land nav in Basic, I meant to specify.


17 posted on 02/24/2018 8:10:24 AM PST by Wyrd bi ful ard (Flag burners can go screw -- I'm mighty PROUD of that ragged old flag)
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To: Eddie01

Very feel-good:

Soooo...
Further reporting, such as it is, on the Dair Ezzor Turkey Shoot.
1. Sov... err... Russians built a bridge over the Euphrates which was the designated ‘deconfliction line’. Why? Reasons. ‘Commite of Nations’ or something.

2. ‘Hybrid’ force of mixed Russian contractors including multiple non-ethnic Russians (Serbs, Kossack, other non Slavics) as well as local Syrian Army
‘commandos’ attacked across temporary bridge. The ‘Russian’ side were ‘Blackwater’ equivalent mercenaries from a company generally called ‘Wagner’
which is the nom de plume of the boss. (Like if you called Blackwater ‘Prince’.)

3. Unit was partially mechanized, battalion strength. (One thing everyone agrees upon is ‘about 600-700 personnel.’) Had some towed artillery as well
as ‘t-55 and T-72 MBT as well as armored personnel carriers.’ (Type unknown.) Full on ‘we’re taking that position and you’re not stopping us’ full court press.

4. Unit crossed bridge, arty deployed.

5. Arty opened fire while most of unit was still in approach column formation. (Normal) One portion moved to flanking positions.
5A. Minute the arty opened fire shite GOT REAL REAL QUICK.

6. Reapers took out artillery and most of armor with Hellfire. From the few videos, pretty much before they knew what hit them. There had to be quite a few Reaper drones up or they were feeding guidance to Hellfire from Apaches (see below.)

7. F-15E Eagles came in for clean-up and to check for anti-air defenses.

8. Warthogs showed up just to go BRRRRRRT!

9. AC-130 Spectre started fricking up their day for the hell of it.

10. To add insult to injury, B-52s which, you know, just HAPPENED to be in the area, just minding our own business, just passing by from Diego Garcia which is a few thousand miles away, on our way to... somewhere... nothing to see here... decided to prove they could drop their entire load as precision guided weapons and just more or less DID A JDAM ARCLIGHT ON THEIR ASS. At that point, more or less because CENTCOM said ‘Why not? ARCLIGHT is always pretty to watch...’

11. The whole thing being so over it was ridiculous, AH-64 Apaches basically did ‘hostile Bomb Damage Assessment’ and complained there were no targets left.

12. Oh, and then the Kurds, to just really frick with these guys, released water from a dam upstream and broke their bridge. So they had to ford back with their wounded.

13. Nobody knows how many dead and wounded. Russians are saying ‘only 8 Russian citizens’ but that doesn’t quite cover the whole of who may have been involved. One repeated number is 200 dead (remember, mixed Syrians, Russians and other ethnics) as well as pretty much the rest of the force wounded. (Not to mention pretty thoroughly demoralized.) One Kurd wounded. Probably fell off a stool laughing to tell truth.

14. Military hospitals in Russia are reliably reported ‘overflowing.’
This was much less a ‘battle’ than a message. Towards the end we had to just be pounding ground to make sure they got it.
Messages, really.
A. Don’t fricking cross that river.
B. Hey, North Korea! LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!
C. Hey, Putin, about Donbas... This is what we can do to your ‘freedom fighters’ (AKA: mercenaries) at any time.
D. To everyone in general: You need to remember who’s boss.
Mattis is playing dumb. ‘What Russians? There were Russians? Really? I’m seeing that in the media but I got no briefing on there being Russians in that column. Our bad. Sorry about that.’
Then there’s the fact that the strike was NOT approved by the President.
Because he gave CENTOM the approval on things like that.
And CENTCOM handled it like a BOSS.
Oh, and when the forces crossed the river the Russians were informed and informed that we intended to take ‘self-defense’ actions.
So they can’t even say they weren’t warned.
I’m not sure we warned them we’d be using BUFF.
This is more the sort of thing I’d expect in late summer.
‘Shit! We haven’t expended our budget! Are there any Russians we can frick up very badly with all these unexpended munitions?’
Last thought: It had to be shitty being on the receiving end of that.


18 posted on 02/24/2018 8:24:47 AM PST by txhurl (The Final Thunderdome: Two Americas enter, One America leaves.)
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To: Wyrd bið ful aræd

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2018/01/19/trumps-biggest-military-accomplishments-as-president-so-far-according-to-the-gop/


19 posted on 02/24/2018 8:25:19 AM PST by Eddie01
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To: Eddie01

Wars gets started that way.


20 posted on 02/24/2018 8:26:05 AM PST by McGruff (#ObamaGate)
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