Military Review

Secrets of the Syrian War: the American factor


Information about the US position regarding the Syrian conflict is extremely controversial.

On the one hand, there are reports that the Americans seem to have stopped supporting the opposition in southern Syria. Even the operation of the CIA in this country has been suspended, since the Syrian Free Army (SSA), supervised by the Central Intelligence Agency, turned out to be ineffective and entered into a fight with pro-Kurdish pro-Syrian Democratic forces (SDS), patronized by the Pentagon. And Trump, they say, took the side of the Pentagon. At the same time, Secretary of State Tillerson says that the regime change in Syria can be dangerous. In another interview, he said that Bashar Assad and Russia should participate in the restoration of the Syrian political process. The United States also agreed to join two of the four de-escalation zones initiated by Moscow.

However, on the other hand, there are still allegations from Washington that there is no place for Assad in the future of Syria and there are threats against him. It does not seem that the Americans are going to leave the military bases they deployed on the Syrian territory of 10. Deliveries of military cargo to them are increasing, the number of US troops is growing. The presence of the US Navy in the adjacent waters is also expanding. On August 7, there were reports of airstrikes by the Americans and launches of the HIMARS missile system against pro-Syrian Iraqi forces south of the Al-Tanf border point. Prior to this, it was assumed that the US military had completely gone from there. Killed 40 people, injured 30. As if on cue, these positions were immediately followed by a synchronous attack by militants of the Islamic State banned in Russia (IG).

Secrets of the Syrian War: the American factor

All this makes it necessary to say that the tactics of the Americans in Syria may have changed, but the strategy remains the same. Its meaning is to ensure the dominance of the United States in an extremely important region of the Middle East and oust all geopolitical rivals from here.

A well-known economist and political analyst, advisor to the UN Secretary General Jeffrey Sachs believes that "the attempts of the United States to overthrow Assad are not aimed at protecting the Syrian people." They are only "war by proxy against Iran and Russia, in which Syria was the battlefield."

Senior Political Advisor to the Central Command of the US Armed Forces (CENTCOM) Nader Uskoui (Nader Uskowi) acknowledges that the initial objectives of the US policy in Syria, which consisted in defeating the IG, are “mostly fulfilled.” In his opinion, the main threat to US military personnel and US interests in Syria is “the forces led by Iran” and Tehran’s attempts to “bridge” with Damascus through Iraq. To counter this, the United States, along with its allies from the "Sunni opposition," must control "the desert of Badia (southern Syria) and the valley of the Euphrates (east of the country)." A complicating factor is the position of Russia, which the American adviser proposes to either involve in "restraining Iran" or to ensure that it at least does not help it.

The Washington Post source in the White House also indicates that the administration plans its actions for the period after the capture of Rakka, believing that at the next stage, the logic of the struggle will lead the US to a direct conflict with the "government and pro-Iranian forces." The south and east of Syria are also seen as the main future zone of clashes there. The recent attacks on the Assad army and “pro-Iranian Shiite forces” are “only warnings” about what may happen to them in the future, “if they stand up to American interests and allies.” The publication reports that the content of this strategy, fraught with an increase in American intervention, as well as direct clashes with Russia and Iran, is being discussed in the White House and the Pentagon. At the same time, “no one objects” to the strategy itself and its goals, we are talking only about the ways of its most successful “operationalization”.

The White House does not agree that the Pentagon is more peaceful: they say, the military department independently, without requesting the administration, opens fire on Iranian and government air targets in Syria. The pretext for the escalation of hostilities against Syria may, in particular, serve as the accusations recently voiced over the use of Damascus chemical weapons. The Washington Times argues, for example, that “unlike Obama,” who has drawn red lines against the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and then forgot about them, Trump is made “of a more severe test.” If the US starts to act, "only a few will be surprised."

Launch of "Tomahawks" USA Syria

In the latest actions of Americans, including the active support of Kurdish formations in the north, clearly discerns the course toward the Balkanization of Syria, its division into hostile parts. The Kurdish-built Rozhava is allegedly written off from the Kosovo project, and the US bases in the territory of Rozhava strongly resemble Bondsteel on the land of the Kosovo region.

American "advisers" in the north of Syria

The leader of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, Salih Musl, who is leading the region in the region, intoxicated with American attention, already says that the Rakka liberated from the IG will be incorporated into the Kurdish entity. Prone at first to a compromise with Damascus, Salih Muslim under the influence of the Americans becomes increasingly intransigent. Having become stuck in months of fighting for Rakku, the Kurdish leaders already say that the government army is to blame for this, although it is unclear what it could prevent them from doing. Trying to extinguish the discontent of the Arab population of Syria with the excessive favor of the Kurds, Americans resort to a religious factor. Since Kurds are Sunnis, US advisers urge all Sunni population of the country to unite around them. They resort to similar tactics in Iraq, but Kurds in Syrian society were never considered as special promoters of Islam, in the first place for them there were always national problems.

The future Arab-populated police force Raqqi on American courses in the characteristic Kurdish greeting. How will the “supervised” Arabs react to it?

In general, the “Kurdish lurch” in the US Syrian strategy creates new dangers. Not only Damascus and Ankara, but a significant part of the Syrian opposition would not agree with the creation of the Rozhava, especially in the current geographical limits. Washington will face a serious dilemma: whether to fulfill obligations to the Kurdish wards or to lose such an important strategic ally for Turkey for many years? This problem was clearly perceived by the CIA, but, having lost the Pentagon in the hardware struggle, its position in Syria, it is not it that now rules the ball in this country. The generals, on the other hand, do not think much about the political consequences, they look at the current military situation. Are Kurds good fighters? Yes. Do they bring concrete results? Yes. And enough. The fact that later this will lead to additional complications is ignored by the US military, believing that the consequences will not be tackled by them, but by the State Department and the CIA. The fate of the current allies, they are also of little concern. All polls in the Middle East show that most Americans do not respect it there for its inconstancy.

Kurds believe what they are promised. And in vain! Ahead of them is a bitter disappointment. Turkey is the cornerstone of NATO’s southern flank. Washington will sacrifice prestige to preserve it. It would seem that the Kurds should have been warned by the ease with which the Americans renounced their previous favorite, the SSA, but they seem to be blinded by the prospects for the realization of the national ideal.

On the development of the situation around Syria, the sentiments of American generals, both those sitting in the Pentagon and those operating directly in the region, can have a significant impact. Their position is important in light of the growing influence on President Trump of the American military industrial complex and the “general’s lobby”. What is known about the main figures of the American commanders responsible for the Syrian theater of operations, inspires fear. Given the potential at the disposal of these people, the future of the Middle East looks worrisome.

US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis

Pentagon chief four-star General Jim Mattis is unpredictable and very colorful. The nicknames assigned to Mattis by his subordinates speak about his character: Warrior monk (he was never married and has no children), Mad Dog. And for leadership style during the war in Iraq, he received the nickname Chaos.

Being a Marine in a career and a supporter of special operations, Mattis doesn’t like to bother with painstaking staff work. Between 2010 and 2013, he headed the US Central Command (CENTCOM), responsible for the Middle East, and was at the origin of the Arab Spring. Now he has to face the difficult consequences of this process. Fanatic in spirit, believing in his own mission. In 2004, the Iraqi Fallujah ordered the shelling of the wedding procession, killing 42 people. He never admitted his wrong. Passionate about the military history and the acts of the great generals. He dreams of his own victories, since the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, in which Mattis took part, cannot be called successful. As acknowledged by the former CIA director and former Pentagon chief Leon Panetta, President Obama did not particularly trust Mattis because he constantly pushed the United States toward military confrontation with Iran. Who knows if the Mad Dog would like to launch the course of his passion now?

Mattis, the patron saint of chaos, is a cartoon spread on Facebook by fans of a general from the Marine Special Forces Command (MARSOC)

The US military policy in Syria itself is conducted by CENTCOM, whose zone of responsibility includes twenty states of one of the most unstable regions of the world. CENTCOM’s task is to confront all “state and non-government factors that threaten US interests” in the region.

Color indicates CENTCOM's area of ​​responsibility

The headquarters of CENTCOM is located in Tampa, Florida, and in the region are advanced control, including the NAVCENT Command in Bahrain; Ground Forces Command (ARCENT) and a joint "forward headquarters" in Kuwait; Air Force Command (AFCENT) in Qatar; Marines Command (MARCENT) in Bahrain; Command Special Operations Forces (SOCCENT) in Qatar.

Layout of US troops in the Persian Gulf

The total number of US troops in the possession of CENTCOM in the Middle East is lower than the peak values ​​of the height of the Iraqi wars, but together with the bases in Turkey and Egypt it reaches 35 - 40 thousand people. The location of the American bases indicates that now their main targets here are Iran and Syria. However, the structure of these objects allows us to conclude that, although they possess sufficient firepower to inflict significant damage to the intended enemy, these forces are not sufficient for a full-fledged ground invasion. Without a reliable intra-regional ally, CENTCOM is hardly able to accomplish all the tasks assigned to it. Hence the bet on the "Kurdish infantry."

The location of the "profile" US military bases in the "Greater Middle East"

The current CENTCOM Commander, Colonel-General Joseph L. Votel, who has held this post since April 2016, is quite suitable for Pentagon chief Mattis. Prior to this appointment, he was Head of the Special Operations Directorate and Commander-in-Chief of the Special Operations Forces. He is known as an expert in the field of psychological warfare, who in the past occupied leading posts in the relevant department of the Pentagon. Votel had time to be noted and that was involved in the conspiracy of the military in Turkey. President Erdogan in July 2016 accused him of having connections with the conspirators. Unlike the notorious “Russian trace” in the American elections, these connections have been proven.

Colonel-General Joseph Votel

Another important figure in the Pentagon vertical, defining the fate of Syria, is the Commander of the US operation (Inherent Resolve) in this country and in Iraq, Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend. At the same time, he commands the 18 airborne corps with its headquarters in Kuwait, which serves as the basis for the combined forces involved in the Iraqi and Syrian operations. By origin he is half German, half Afghan, but adopted by the family of the American military in Germany. It is noteworthy that Townsend has a tendency to psychological operations: in his youth, he received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Northern Georgia.

Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend

Experts note that such a dominance of lovers of special and psychological operations among American generals operating in the Middle East, has developed under President Obama. Previously, such complex and multidisciplinary commanders as CENTCOM were usually led by combined-arms commanders. Obama, who avoided dangerous open clashes, placed the main emphasis on special operations. They also responded to the manipulations started by Washington on regime change in the region, which went down in history as the “Arab Spring”. It turned out, however, that these “softer” actions, disruptive in essence, can lead to more devastating consequences.

Another thing was discovered: the American “generals-psychologists” generally coped with the task of discrediting the B. Assad regime (accusing them of organizing chemical attacks clearly shows their trace), but they showed professional inconsistency in planning and conducting classical military operations that required completely different level of staff culture. For example, American strategists failed two main tasks that were set for the "Postigilov" period - establishing control of opposition forces over the south of Syria in the Badia desert and over the Euphrates valley. As a result of two brilliant flank maneuvers, the Syrian government army first bypassed and cut off the militants from the Free Syrian Army in the south, and then made a rapid rush along the Euphrates in the north in the Raqqa area, putting it in a difficult position not only in the IG militants (organization banned in Russia. - Red .), but also putting a limit to the advancement of pro-American Kurds from the VTS. It is already clear that the Americans will not be able to cut off Damascus from Baghdad.

Situation on the Syrian fronts on August 9 2017

So far, however, it is too early to say that the war in Syria will decline. People like Mattis, Votel, Townsend and others do not have the ability to admit defeat. They can “slam the door loudly,” because the US military has the means for this. Guards the placement of ten Americans in the Syrian territory of ten of their bases.

US bases in northern Syria

In the immediate vicinity of Syria, two aircraft carrier groups have also been deployed - led by the aircraft carriers George Bush in the Mediterranean Sea and Nimitz in the Persian Gulf. On each of the aircraft carriers more than 5 thousand crew members and 80 combat aircraft. When entering Haifa, the first of these ships was visited by Israeli Prime Minister B. Netanyahu, who promised the American guests his full support in their "peace-loving endeavors."

The events can unfold according to the script of the famous film “The Tail wags the dog”, where to increase the rating of the US President, his entourage unleashes a “small victorious war” in Albania, unknown at that time, to none of the Americans. The Pentagon guys are able to carry the head of the White House into an equally disastrous adventure, with dire consequences not only for the region and America, but also for Trump’s political career.

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      1. Analyst 1973
        Analyst 1973 20 August 2017 16: 21
        Washington must be destroyed! soldier
        1. Nikolai Grek
          Nikolai Grek 21 August 2017 01: 02
          Quote: analyst1973
          Washington must be destroyed! soldier

          lol lol lol wassat good laughing laughing laughing
      2. Analyst 1973
        Analyst 1973 20 August 2017 16: 28
        Queen of the Isle of Evil, retired! bully
  2. Grbear
    Grbear 21 August 2017 17: 15
    The author did a pretty good job. States will pursue their strategic goals, but on occasion they will throw any ally, especially Kurds. But we must not forget that in the states themselves, if the Confederates are "removed" from the Capitol and the monuments are demolished, Ukrainization is quite real. And no victorious war outside the country will help. Unless, of course, China and Russia attack