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Monday, March 19, 2018

The Pentagon is “preparing the ground” in Syria

The us military is working on a plan the beginning of the ground operation in Syria. A number of experts believes that if the project will be able to push through Congress, the idea of a “small victorious war” might be interested in trump. The situation began to “work on earth” the Americans will build cooperation with many parties in the Syrian conflict?

The Pentagon can offer to send conventional forces into Syria, CNN reports. According to the channel, the US military will have to fight with the terrorist organization “Islamic state*”.

“Even introducing ground troops to Syria, the US will commit to do all the dirty work for its supposed allies”

While this proposal is not directed at the us administration, however, said a Pentagon spokesman, “perhaps you will see that conventional forces will land at some time in Syria.” The decision on this issue should take the President, Donald trump, specifies CNN.

“We are in the process of the 30-day study strategy to destroy ISIS*, as requested by the President, as part of this, we consider a number of measures to accelerate the campaign,” – said the representative of the Pentagon, Recalling that “no decision had yet been taken.”

Recall that the US is doing in Syria strikes on ISIS without the permission of the authorities of the country in 2014. Also, there are groups of us special forces, providing aid to factions of the Syrian opposition – the goal of this work is called countering. According to official data, in battles with terrorists special forces do not enter.

Meanwhile, we note that in 2014 U.S. President Barack Obama announced the end of an era of major military operations, the United States and assured the soldiers returning from Afghanistan: the United States will no longer use ground troops in such operations.

However, at the end of 2016, the United States again broke his promise. The coalition headed by the USA decided to change their tactics and use ground troops to fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq, as stated by the outgoing defense Secretary Ashton Carter. Sending regular combat units in Syria, the administration of the previous President, however, is not claimed.

Congress as an obstacle to the “little war”

An expert on the Middle East of the Russian international Affairs Council (RIAC) Sergey Balmasov believes that CNN should be treated with caution. “Besides the trump without the approval of Congress to send troops anywhere not. But, given the uneasy relationship of an American President with Congress, it’s unlikely,” – he explained the newspaper VIEW.

Director of the Center for the study of modern Iran Rajab Safarov believes that this idea will face opposition from Congress. “American public opinion is negative to ground operations, which, as a rule, accompanied by tangible for the American army losses. Congress, given public opinion, may impede the adoption of this decision”, – said Safarov.

On the other hand, according to Balmasova troops in Syria would be for US a logical step, because for America it is crucial not to completely withdraw from the Middle East. Rajab Safarov, in turn, said: “it So happened that Russia, Iran and later Turkey now decide major issues in connection with the situation in Syria with little input gathered by the US coalition.”

In his opinion, to correct this situation, most likely, populist trump wants to achieve quick results in Syria, after spending a small victorious war, to revive the U.S. image as a superpower. “The bombing and missile strikes are secondary to the actions of Russia. All that is left to do to the Americans, is to send troops,” – said the expert.

Who can use “on the ground”?

Head of the research Department of middle East conflicts and the armed forces of the region of the Institute of innovative development Anton Mardas believes that the strengthening of the U.S. presence may include sending an additional contingent of special forces, the air controllers, perhaps groups of “green berets” and Navy seals, and also need to increase the number of engineering units.

Who is friends with whom and the war in Syria and Iraq At the same time, reminds the interlocutor, the presence of U.S. ground troops in Syria will not start with a clean slate.

The Americans already have some military objects controlled by the Kurds territory. “Specifically, four of them. There are present including instructors from other NATO countries. There is a runway next to Rmilana (in the northeastern province of hasakah), based army aviation. Presumably, the US military presence is estimated there are several thousand people, including as a contingent supply, and special forces and air controllers. In addition, there are military engineers who helped Kurdish troops to cross one of the rivers in the spring”, – said the Mardas.

“For the assault on Raqqa (the”capital of Caliphate” of ISIS) from the Deir ez-Zor, may need to cross the Euphrates,” says the Mardas. First and foremost, the expert said. However, in any case, the main combat missions, if the situation radically will not change, will continue to carry the fighters of the Kurdish-Arab Alliance “Syrian democratic forces”.

Who will take in the company?

Sergei Balmasov, in turn, notes that in the event of a ground operation in Syria, the Americans will have to decide whom to support on the ground.

At the moment it is believed that the support of the Americans use the already mentioned “Syrian democratic forces” and the political wing of this Alliance, “Syrian democratic Council”. This umbrella structure, established in December 2015, in the first place brings together Kurdish factions Rozhava – Syrian Kurdistan.

What made the army of Syria with the help of Russian troops (infographic)on the other hand, Turkey fears that under the guise of “Syrian democratic forces,” acts of the Syrian Kurdish organization, the PYD (Democratic Union), which Ankara considers a terrorist. This fear on the eve reiterated the defense Minister of Turkey Fikri Ishik at a meeting with Pentagon chief James Mattis.

“In addition to the Kurds, whom the Americans supported under Obama, there are different gangs, who declared the commitment of so-called free Syrian army (FSA). Perhaps the United States will support them,” – said Balmasov.

We add that the SSA, which many consider nothing more than a cover for the many “teams” of armed opposition enjoys the official support of Turkey. In particular, declared that the operation “shield of the Euphrates”, launched by the Turkish army in August 2016, is carried out together with the “Free army”. 14 Feb Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yildirim said that SAS troops have captured most of the city of al-Bab, of whom the Turks for more than four months to displace ISIS.

That is, said Balmasov Americans, they appear in Syria are likely to help those groups who are not tainted by contacts with the Islamic state and “Dzhebhat Fatah al-sham” (the former “dzhebhat an-Nusra”), trying to expand their sphere of influence and isolate it from the attacks of the army of Bashar al-Assad and groups controlled by Iran. First, it refers to the Shia “Hezbollah” based in Lebanon and active in Syria, including in Aleppo. We will add that Hezbollah is a full partner in the ongoing negotiations in Astana. We should not forget in fact about operating in Syria the Iranian military, including special forces of Islamic revolutionary guard Corps (IRGC).

If the Americans decide to do the direct participation in the Syrian conflict, “perhaps we will see another delineated a sphere of influence in Syria,” suggests Balmasov.

“Dirty work” will instruct the allies

That without even entering ground troops to Syria, the US will commit to do all the dirty work for its supposed allies, no doubt, also, Rajab Safarov. “Going into Syria is likely they will continue to shift main responsibilities to support their group. It may be set up another “coalition”. Apparently, they will use the “Free Syrian army” may also separate Kurdish groups. In addition, connects ground forces to the Gulf countries. May be, in part, will be to negotiate with Turkey, but since Turkey will not tolerate the neighborhood with the Syrian Kurds, it’s unlikely,” – said the expert.

In his opinion, in this case in Syria will be a new artificially created by an American zone of influence, which will expand and probably will be formed a Pro-American alternative to the Syrian government.

Also Safarov believes that cooperation with countries such as Russia and Iran, will be purely formal, however, misunderstandings, accidental bumps, and the more direct confrontations with the Russian space forces, they will try to avoid.

All-out assault on Raqqa

Before talking about the deployment of American troops in Syria, it should be noted, what about their allies, engaged in the capture of Raqqa, said Anton Mardas. The expert noted that there is no clarity in the question of who will take the citadel of the IG. “On the one hand, representatives of the Kurdish-Arab Alliance “Syrian democratic forces” made up in the province of raqqa progress. Now they are around 11 kilometers from the city. Only in the Arab units in the Alliance, there are about 23 thousand. However, Turkey proposed a plan for the capture of Raqqa with his participation, but it did not suit all participants of the international coalition,” – said the expert.

He suggests that the current visit of President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Gulf countries, apparently, is connected with the search options to attract Turkey and its partners from Sunni coalition to participate in the assault on Raqqa.

“This possibility of Turkey if it is taken al-Bab, since in this case their troops can reach the province of raqqa along the West Bank of the Euphrates, thereby blocking terrorists in another direction, also, allocate units under the control of the opposition to participate in the storming of the city”, – the expert believes. However, Mardas said that “Democratic forces” and Pro-Turkish Sunni opposition to many claims against each other.

Arabs and Israel is asked to “be friends against” Iran

Note that the edition of The Wall Street Journal announced Wednesday that the administration trump talks with Arab allies about reaching some agreement with Israel. The purpose of the agreement is to resist a common enemy, Iran. “Such an Alliance could include such countries as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, who are the sworn enemies of Israel as well as Egypt and Jordan that have long-standing peace treaties with Israel,” noted The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed representatives of the five Arab countries participating in the discussion.

The plan presented by the administration trump, involves the interaction between the Arab countries and Israel to limit the influence of Iran in the middle East. In addition, according to the WSJ, the same question should be one of the topics of conversation of the President of the United States Donald trump and the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, whose visit to Washington begun yesterday. Earlier it was reported that Netanyahu intends to discuss with trump the possibility of renewed sanctions against Iran. The new American leader has repeatedly signaled that it will support Israel, the traditional enemy of Iran in the region.

Arab diplomats, meanwhile, are negotiating in Washington with Pentagon chief James Mattis; in addition, contacts were with Michael Flynn until his resignation from the post of adviser to the President on national security, said the WSJ. In particular, the representatives of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has put forward a condition – to make changes in U.S. law that allows victims of the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, to sue the governments of those Arab countries.

The WSJ sources said that the anti-Iranian agreement of the Arab countries and Israel does not imply “mutual defense Pact”. It is assumed that the United States can offer military and intelligence support, similar to that is Saudi Arabia in its fight against Yemeni Houthi rebels.

* Organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force decision on liquidation or ban the activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal law “On countering extremist activity”


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