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Manbij False Flag: A Convenient Killing of US Troops in Syria (Opinion)

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Manbij False Flag: A Convenient Killing of US Troops in Syria (Opinion)

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Written by Finian Cunningham; Originally appeared on strategic-culture.org

With unseemly haste, US news media leapt on the killing of four American military personnel in Syria as a way to undermine President Donald Trump’s plan to withdraw troops from that country.

The deadly attack in the northern city of Manbij, on the west bank of the Euphrates River, was reported to have been carried out by a suicide bomber. The Islamic State (ISIS) terror group reportedly claimed responsibility, but the group routinely makes such claims which often turn out to be false.

The American military personnel were said to be on a routine patrol of Manbij where US forces have been backing Kurdish militants in a purported campaign against ISIS and other terror groups.

An explosion at a restaurant resulted in two US troops and two Pentagon civilian officials being killed, along with more than a dozen other victims. Three other US military persons were among those injured.

US media highlighted the bombing as the biggest single death toll of American forces in Syria since they began operations in the country nearly four years ago.

The US and Kurdish militia have been in control of Manbij for over two years. It is one of the main sites from where American troops are to withdraw under Trump’s exit plan, which he announced on December 19.

Following the bombing, the New York Times headlined: “ISIS Attack in Syria Kills 4 Americans, Raising Worries about Troop Withdrawal”. The report goes on, “the news prompted calls from Republicans and Democrats for President Trump to reconsider his plans to withdraw troops from the country.”

A more pointed headline in The Washington Post was: “Killing of 4 Americans in Syria Throws Spotlight on Trump’s Policy”.

The Post editorialized, “the bombing showed that [ISIS] is likely to be a force to be reckoned with in Syria for the foreseeable future.” It quoted politicians in Washington claiming the “bombing deaths… were a direct result of a foolish and abrupt departure announcement [by Trump], and made the case for staying.”

Democrat Senator Jack Reed, who sits on the Senate Armed Forces Committee, said: “From the beginning, I thought the president was wrong [in ordering the withdrawal]. It was a strategic mistake for the whole region.”

With macabre smugness, anti-Trump politicians and news media appeared to exploit the death of US troops in Manbij to score points against Trump.

The president’s claims made just before Christmas of having defeated ISIS were widely replayed following the Manbij attack this week by way of ridiculing Trump’s order to pullout US troops from Syria.

Nevertheless, despite the deaths, Trump and his Vice President Mike Pence stated they were still committed to bring the 2,000 or so US troops home. Some military figures also went on US media to defend Trump’s pullout plan in spite of the terror attack in Manbij.

There clearly is a serious division in Washington over Trump’s policy on Syria. For Democrats and supportive media outlets, anything Trump does is to be opposed. But there are also elements within the military and intelligence nexus which are implacably against, what they see as, his “capitulation to Russia and Iran” in Syria. That was partly why his Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned days after Trump made his announced withdrawal at the end of last month.

Having invested years and money in regime-change machinations in Syria, there is bound to be US military and intelligence cabals which are resistant to Trump’s move to pack up. Not that Trump’s move portends a peace dividend for the region. It is more a “tactical change” for how US imperialism operates in the Middle East, as his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in Cairo last week.

That is why Trump’s order to take troops out of Syria may not be a clear-cut withdrawal. His National Security adviser John Bolton on a tour of the Middle East last week has already tried to undermine Trump by attaching all sorts of vague conditions to the troop pullout. Bolton and Pompeo have talked about the need to ensure the total defeat of ISIS and of the countering of Iranian presence in Syria.

This brings up the question of who may have carried out the bombing in Manbij? Was it really a suicide bomber? Was it really ISIS? Several observers have pointed out that ISIS have not had any presence in Manbij for the past two years since the Americans and Kurds took control of the city.

As always, the key question arises: who stands to benefit from the killing of the American troops? The scale of the attack suggests it was carried out with a sharp political message intended for Trump.

One potential beneficiary are the Kurdish militants who are being abandoned by the putative US withdrawal. Without their American sponsor on the ground, the Kurds are in danger of Turkish forces launching cross-border operations to wipe them out, as Ankara has vowed to do. A Machiavellian Kurdish calculation could be to “disprove” Trump about “ISIS being defeated”, and that US forces are needed to prevent any resurgence of the terror group in Manbij and northeast Syria.

Another sinister player is the CIA or some other element of US military intelligence. It is certainly not beyond the realm of plausibility that the CIA could facilitate such an atrocity against American personnel in order to discredit Trump’s withdrawal plan.

Certainly, the way the anti-Trump media in the US reacted with such alacrity and concerted talking points suggests there was something a bit too convenient about the massacre.

It would in fact be naive to not suspect that the CIA could have pulled off such a false flag in Manbij. As in 1950s Vietnam, as told by Graham Greene in ‘The Quiet American’, the CIA have been doing such dirty tricks with bombing atrocities and assassinations for decades in order to precipitate wars in foreign countries that the agency calculates are in America’s geopolitical interests.

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  • jako

    I go for false flag also!
    ISIS attack controlled by CIA+Mossad with the blessing of Deep State.
    They want US to stay in Syria and to screw Trump over his support for Saudi dick – MBS.

  • Michael

    Talk about Israel. Netanyahu would love nothing better than the USA staying in Syria. And the Mossad is famous for their “surgical” strategic bombings.

  • AJ

    US has been in Syria years yet when was the last time Isis targeted them with a suicide attack. Now Trump plans to withdraw they decide its a good time to do the one thing that will keep US in the country!
    The only ones who benefit from US staying are Israel, Kurds & Neo cons

    • Rob

      Leave Syria or ready for false suicide attacks from Zionists Israeli terrorists.

      Till this time US, British lost hundreds of service men fighting with Kurds against Zionists Israeli terrorists in Syria

      • Tommy Jensen

        US loss is 5 plus the latest 4 = 9 US servicemen died in Syria. Russia´s loss is 150 Russian servicemen.
        Americans never gets killed…………………………………………LOL.

        • Jim Bim

          The US lost to the poorest country on earth, ( Vietnam ) they killed over 50K US soldiers. US always fight and invade poor and week countries….never equals.
          3 day ago the US killed 23 civilians ( mostly women and children ) fleeing from ISIS in Eastern Syria.

          • U_deserve_bleach

            You should look up the difference between conventional and unconventional warfare. The US sucks at fighting guerillas and insurgents but easily destroyed Saddam’s 1 million strong military (which was ranked the fourth largest at one point) with only a hundred thousand troops; taking control of Iraq from right under him in a span of a few weeks.

          • Jim Bim

            your ignorant. in 2003 after 10 years sanction, Iraq was poor and weak.Their military was a mess.
            US always fight and invade poor and week countries….never equals.

          • U_deserve_bleach

            Lol ok. Then tell: what great powerful country has Russia defeated over the last 40 years other than running way from Afghanistan, still getting checkpoints massacred in Chechnya by bands of Islamist separatists, and beating some dumb rebels in Syria?

            At least the US actually managed to rape a conventional military pretty easily while Russia had problems with little tiny Georgia in 2008; forcing them to open their eyes.

            You should really open a book, or at least use the internet for something other than state-sponsored propaganda and midget bondage porn.

          • Jim Bim

            Lol …crawl back to your hole brainless creep. You are the one that is bragging about US fighting skills, i have not mention Russia, but Russia has not invaded and destroyed tens of poor and week countries….and killed millions the last 40 years.

        • Rob

          More than hundreds US and Co terrorists have been sent to hell.

    • Astrid Watanabe

      I do not think this is benefitting the Kurds at all. I have read many articles in Hawar news that it is outside interference that prevents the solution of problems between them and the Syrian government.

  • TomWonacott

    “………It would in fact be naive to not suspect that the CIA could have pulled off such a false flag in Manbij. As in 1950s Vietnam, as told by Graham Greene in ‘The Quiet American’, the CIA have been doing such dirty tricks with bombing atrocities and assassinations for decades in order to precipitate wars in foreign countries that the agency calculates are in America’s geopolitical interests……..”

    There is absolutely nothing to back this claim other than the imagination of the author. Alleged false flag operations are imagined when an accusation simply doesn’t meet a political agenda. For example, various false flag scenarios were proposed (imagined) for the chemical attack at Khan Shiekhoun because the OPCW and UN accused the Assad regime of the attack. It must have been those dastardly White Helmets. The White Helmets are always accused of false flag chemical attacks (by Russia, Syria and their friends in the media) yet they have not been charged or accused in a single attack by the OPCW and UN investigators! In one article at ConsortiumNews, Ray McGovern implied that the hack of the DNC by Russia could have been a false flag operation by the CIA using vault 7 tools. When in doubt, just invent a false flag operation.

    Usually accusations of false flag operations are a desperate measure to explain what one cannot explain with the available eveidence. In this article, the motive for the nefarious operation to murder US soldiers by the CIA is to keep US troops in Syria. Motive is also perpetually used to invent false flag operations. Assad was winning. He had no motive to use chemical weapons and bring the wrath of the US on his regime. Only the US has never really done anything after a chemical attack by Assad except make a deal with Russia to destroy all of Syria’s chemical weapons (which clearly failed) and meekly bomb a couple of facilities in Syria. The US under the boistrous Trump is absolutely zero threat to the Assad regime.

    The CIA was no more behind the suicide bombing in Manbij than the suicide attack on the Twin Towers in 2001, but there will always be people that believe otherwise.

  • Tommy Jensen

    USA are not exploiting or sucking on ANY dead American corpses. This postulate smells of fish and anti-semitism.

    • Jim Bim

      Either your comment is sarcastic or your ignorance is beyond repair.
      BTW………antisemitism = defined as hostile actions or discrimination against Jews.

      • Tommy Jensen

        Jews own the media, the media write about dead american corpses, homoliberal US senator fishing in media´s dead corpses, someone write US exploit american corpses.
        Sarcasm but with reason and logo…………………LOL.

  • Angelo Cinarelli

    Ask to Israel who did it. If really happen Israel did it because Israel is not agree USA leave Syria. Well USA should remember Vietnam and Afganistan. If they want another Vietnam….

  • leon mc pilibin

    Nothing these satanic,warmongering scumbags should surprise anybody.Trump,bolton the chicken hawk and his pompous buddy pompeo,are zionist tools to play out the destruction of Syria and the ME,,all for the benefit of the rothschild owned regime ISRAHELL:

  • Johan

    Naively this hypothesis stops after finger pointing only two beneficiary: Turkey is not considerate, Turkish backed terrorists are not considerate. Given the reason why Trump would leave an attack could make Trump speed up things and of course Erdogan Never need rationale reasons to do irrational things. But then again all players have sufficien reasons to make noices :Israel, Iran, Syria and Russia.

  • Lena Jones

    … the CIA have been doing such dirty tricks with bombing atrocities and
    assassinations for decades in order to precipitate wars in foreign
    countries that the agency calculates are in America’s geopolitical
    interests.

    Sure, okay. But the CIA isn’t the only agency “doing such dirty tricks with bombing atrocities…”. I’m baffled as to why the ‘speculating’ writer fails to mention the possibility of it being a mossad “dirty tricks op; and baffled too that the writer totally omits mention that israel too would profoundly benefit if Trump were to do a u-turn and keep troops in Syria. Israel, after all, has a longer record of ‘disposing’ of Americans for self-interest than the CIA does – and one would think the writer is perfectly aware of this sour fact – yet the only two suspects that the writer mentions are the kurds and the CIA.

    This reads like a mossad-sponsored article.

  • You can call me Al

    I am getting a little confused now….it says “The American military personnel were said to be on a routine patrol of Manbij where US forces have been backing Kurdish militants in a purported campaign against ISIS and other terror groups.”….. now unless I am mistaken, no they were not, they were dining with a head honco from the Saudi military, interpreter and all.

    Whilst everybody is talking about an attack on the US, maybe it was an attack on the Saudi bloke.

    PS Unless all the other articles on the attack were proved false.

  • Brother Thomas

    The list of suspects behind this attack includes Israel.

    https://www.sott.net/article/401760-Israel-and-its-jihadi-connection

  • Rafik Chauhan

    it is false flag operation . by killing 4 US personal who is not high profile figure. is part of Zionist plan to force US not to withdraw and force all ressitance of hezboollah and iran to out of Syria. but its not going to work IF US Zionist will not leave like this they will be force by ressitance to leave which will cost more US soldier death then now. Zionist have already sacrifice innocent US soldier .US soldier should come to it sense and listen to their heart their family is waiting .

  • mike gilli

    Strange logic in this one Finian! Why wouldn’t ISIS order an attack on US soldiers in Manbij? Didn’t the US bomb them to extinction in Raqqa, Mosul, etc. How would they know the movements of the US patrol? IS have always had deep links in Turkish intelligence which surely has many agents in Manbij, considering their President’s obsession with killing any Kurds there. Indeed the SDF swiftly arrested a 4 man Turkish backed sleeper cell ”linked to the bombing”..Why would Erdogan covertly help kill Americans? Because he knows that bodybags coming home changes US opinion in favour of a pullout, not the reverse as Finian imagines.

  • Taz T

    The longer the American stay in Syria the more people they will lose. False flag or not the American will be the loser and the only people who benefit will be Israeli. They can not stay in Syria forever as they are not wanted there. It could have been Israeli or even Turkish backed terrorists / operator.

    • Tommy Jensen

      US and Israel have the lowest casualties of everybody. So why should they leave? It works…LOL.

  • badgery

    Interpreters don’t grow on trees. The Empire has had a tough time finding competent interpreters willing to work in combat zones ever since the Global War of Terror began. Why waste valuable intel people on a simple ISUS false flag hit? Plenty of hipster JSOC tough guys loitering around Manbij that would suffice for false flag casualties.

  • #’~A*QXm(>NRmm]w?dU4vXZ

    When Dubya wanted to get his “War on Terror” going, he needed a Pearl Harbor type event. lo & behold, 9/11 happened. 9/11 was also more than likely a Zi0Nazi affair, the Zi0Nazi garbage dump’s finger prints are all over it.

    The same Zi0Nazi dump was most upset about Trump’s decision, so sacrificing 4 US servicemen is nothing special in compariosn with 9/11 or even the USS Liberty.

  • Tommy Jensen

    US troops were in Manbij on a routine patrol in the International war against terror and what happened? An terror attack!
    This means our guys in Syria simply did their job in Manbij. If Trump is so stupid to pull US troops out of Manbij, ISIS will spread all over ME again and Iran have won over America with terror!!
    Iran will wipe Israel off the land map, and US will have lost its influence forever in ME to China and Russia if Trump get his will!
    I and Bolton and the Democrats, we want everybody to back up and give your support to our heroes in Manbij. Write a letter to Trump and say as American you want to support Israel in Manbij.
    Because you want to protect your freedom and our values!!

  • Willing Conscience (The Truths

    Why is it all we’re hearing about is the dead US soldiers, and speculation over who killed them and for what purpose, normally I’d be making a big deal over it too, but the fact SF also reported that a Saudi minister had also been killed in the blast, makes the dead US soldiers pale into insignificance in comparison.
    More and more reports are confirming it was indeed the Saudi minister for Gulf affairs that was killed in the blast, a lot of Arab news sites and a few French sites are saying so, but the MSM hasn’t said a peep yet. Top marks to SF if you guys broke the story first, well that’s if it proves to be correct, a follow up story with some more details would be good, the fact we have’t got one yet make me think SF are just a little worried they broke that story just a little too early and got it wrong, I don’t think they did though.
    I’ve been looking for statements Thamer al-Sabhan made over the last few days to refute the claim but found nothing at all, it’d be the first thing he’s do if he wasn’t hurt in the incident, so I’m at least suspicious something’s going on even if he isn’t dead.
    The Saudi Minister in question has been busy trying to isolate Turkey from the US and drive a wedge between them, not because that’s what his King and Prince want him to do, but because the Arab League are forcing the Saudis to do it, the Saudis don’t like the Turks anyway so it’s not that big a deal, but it is something they have to do now, the league isn’t giving them a choice.
    The Guy that’s supposed to be helping to end the war in Syria by dividing any US Turkish interest that could be a reason for it continuing, is possibly assassinated just as he’s about to try and drive an even bigger wedge between the Turks and the US, that’s too much of a coincidence.
    The Saudis who have forever been the local idiots, and gleefully pandered to US and Israel interest to further their own goals, usually to the detriment of most if not all the other Arab League nations, is now the party that’s being forced by all the others to comply to the Leagues wishes, and with no if’s or butts.
    If you have trouble thinking of the Saudis as being good guys now, I don’t blame you, we all know up until now they haven’t done anything good, just brought murder mayhem and misery to the Syrian people, but they’ve actually switched to Assad’s side now, but only because the League is forcing them to, not because they wanted to.
    On one side we have Erdogan, his Syrian rebels, and also HTS, who are all alone without even a smidgin of covert help from the Saudis anymore, the Saudis are too afraid the League will catch them helping HTS and suffer repercussions from the League, the League they used to dominate up until last year but who are now just one of the 20 equal players, well close to equal.
    Then on the other side we have Assad, which used to mean Syria, Russia, China, Iran, Iraq, and Hezbollah, but now it means Assad and EVERYONE else, the Arab League, the US, Israel, and the EU, only Erdogan is a hold out.
    I keep reading that the Saudis are cooperating with the US and Turkey in regards to the proposed safe zone, LOL, the Saudi’s will instead be doing everything they can to keep the Turks out of any proposed safe zone, that’s what the Saudis main task is now, curbing Turkish influence on Arab regional interests, that’s the one job the rest of the League have given them.
    A lot of us fail to see just how big a player the Arab league has become, they have since at least January last year, become the main driving force behind the desire to end the war in Syria full stop.
    Before January I used to think the Arab league was just a bunch of donkeys being led around by their owners, owners who had cleverly tied carrots to the ends of sticks and were holding them out in front of the donkeys, and they were using those carrots to lead those donkeys to wherever the owners wanted to go, even to the slaughterhouse sometimes, but not anymore. Those donkeys all rebelled against their drivers and refused to keep pulling the cart for a while, and even worse for the Israeli and American drivers, when they did start moving again, they all started ignoring those delicious carrots, and started headed in the opposite direction the drivers wanted them to go. And what made it hard for the drivers to stop the donkeys doing what they wanted to do was this, all the donkeys stated heading in the same direction at the same time, it’s impossible to stop a herd of donkeys with just 2 or 2 drivers.
    So now we have a bunch of donkeys leading the wagon drivers around, forcing them to go in the direction the donkeys want to go, towards greener pastures.
    That’s what the dynamic is now, the US, EU and Israel are all agreeing to Arab League demands now, not ignoring them anymore, at least for the time being.
    If I’m going to point a finger at this early stage it’ll be at Erdogan, it may appear the Kurds have something to gain from this attack, but so does Erdogan, and Erdogan has ‘as asserted by Russia in 2014/15, connections to Isis through oil smuggling, the Kurds don’t have any known connection though. On top of that the Kurds supposedly just captured a pro Turkish group they’re claiming is responsible for organizing attacks against the Kurds, just another coincidence?