Syrian War Report – March 10, 2017: Turkey Attacks Syrian Troops West Of Manbij

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The Turkish military targeted with rocket and artillery fires, positions for Syrian government forces and their allies in the western Manbij countryside, according to pro-government sources. Initially reports appeared that 8 members of the Syrian border guards were killed in the Turkish strikes, but there was no confirmation or denial from the Assad government.

Later at the same day, the Syrian state-run news agency “SANA” reported, citing a military source that “the Turkish shelling which targeted the points of border guards claimed the lives of a number of persons and wounded many others.”

If Ankara continues its actions in the area, this will easily lead to a major escalation in northern Syria.

Earlier this week, Syrian troops embedded with servicemen of the Russian Military Police and Special Forces have entered the areas west of Manbij, controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Pro-government forces entered the villages of Abu Hayj, Kur Huyuk, Kurt Wayran, Al-Bughaz and Jubb Al-Hamra. The full list of the villages set to be transferred from the SDF to the Syrian government still remains unclear.

The United States have dispatched units of marines from an amphibious task force to Syria to participate in the Raqqah advance. The units of the US Marine Corps reportedly include artillery batteries of the M777 155-mm howitzers, which should provide fire support to troops during the assault of Raqqa. In addition, additional units of marines will provide security for US servicemen, as well as will become a part of the logistic scheme for supply of the expeditionary forces.

As SouthFront predicted, the advance on Raqqah pushes the Pentagon to increase its ground involvement in the conflict because the SDF does not have enough military capabilities to retake the city from ISIS itself.

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  • Moe

    If the Tiger Forces continue at this rate, the SDF, NDF, Tiger forces would liberate together not needing the extra service from USA. That being said, did USA get permission to put ground troops in yet? Trump and Assad having lowkey talks? 🤔🤔

    • gold37

      They may not have an agreement, but at least they are talking. In regards to permission, they are already in Syria, keeping SDF in line and not supporting Al-Qaeda anymore, so I think they will let it slide for now.

      • Moe

        True, I was expecting an answer like that just for confirmation. Finally the UN is actually taking action on the atrocities Turkey committed in Northern Syrian.

        • Ronald

          And eastern Turkey .

    • CyricRenner

      Indeed, if they act quick the Syrian forces can capture Raqqa. Speed is of the essence. Russia should commit everything they can to its liberation. ISIS is a spent force, they are surrounded, their supply lines cut, bombarded from the air day and night. I am so impressed at how effective the Syrian Army has become. From being totally incompetent to a fighting force has been an amazing transformation.

      Raqqa should not be a slow crawl. I realize urban warfare is perilous, but in Mosul there is supposedly a force of 100,000+ with heavy equipment, total air superiority trying to rout out a couple of thousand ISIS diehards ? Months its taking ? Really ? Battle of Berlin lasted two weeks.

  • We also recommend this analysis about the Russian-Turkish talks held in Moscow: https://southfront.org/turkish-agenda-in-talks-with-russia/

  • Thegr8rambino

    any US servicemembers in syria need to be helping SAA/SDF to attack ISIS and to deter/stop further turkish aggression, otherwise there is no purpose for their presence in this country.

    • PZIVJ1943

      The marines will set up a fire base near Raqqa, they also did this to support the Mosul offensive in Iraq. The M777 can also fire excalibur GPS guided munitions which will land within 5 meters of target at extended range of over 40 KM. It takes artillery to a whole new level. The fire base in Iraq killed MANY ISUS.
      The M777 is also light weight for easy deployment (it uses some titanium).
      Semper fidelis!

      • Thegr8rambino

        Cool! Were or are you a marine?

    • CyricRenner

      There purpose is to safe as many ISIS members from Raqqa as possible, just as they did in Mosul, Iraq.

      • Thegr8rambino

        How do u know this?

        • Bob

          The US strategy in Mosul was certainly double dealing – they allowed ISIS convoys free passage out east into Syria, it was only the Iraqi’s that started using helicopters to attack convoys heading east to Syrian border. US openly stated this policy – Pentagon plan was to make fight for Mosul easier by releasing ISIS (that turned out a so-so result) and to actively create more military problems for Syrian state, essentially revenge in wake of SAA’s Aleppo victory over US supported Al Nusra affiliated armed opposition.
          The upshot was the major ISIS offensive on Dier Ezzore – ISIS convoys from Raqqa and Mosul arrived unmolested from long exposed drives into ISIS controlled Dier Ezzore area, and the local ISIS command were not even aware of scale of impending reinforcements.
          The attack on Dier Ezzore used freshly arrived ISIS fighters from outside the province, and it was noted that US special forces helicopters were spotted landing by in that area in the two week prior to attack. Make own conclusions about the latter aspect, but collusion and deals with terrorists in Syria is hardly new area for US forces and Pentagon.

          • Thegr8rambino

            i wonder then, if trump is aware of this? if not, id love to see the reaction on his face

      • Thegr8rambino

        by shelling it with M777’s?