US-Led Coalition Does Not Support Turkey’s Offensive on al-Bab

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The US-led coalition does not take part in an offensive of Turkish troops and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) on the Syrian city of al-Bab.

US-Led Coalition Does Not Support Turkey's Offensive on al-Bab

Turkish tank on its way to the Turkish-Syria border during an operation against ISIS on 24 August, 2016 (Photo: EPA)

The US-led coalition does not participate in an offensive of the Turkish Army and militants of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) on the Syrian city of al-Bab, controlled by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, spokesman of the Command of the Coalition Forces, Colonel John Dorrian, said during a video conference for journalists from Baghdad on November 17.

According to Dorrian, the offensive of Turkish troops and “Syrian rebels” is “an independent national decision [of Turkey]” and “is not supported by air strikes of the coalition.” In addition, a group of the US Special Forces, which was deployed in the north of Aleppo province in order to support Turkish military, was also recalled.

“They [the US Special Forces] are not a part of the advance in Al-Bab,” the AFP news agency quoted the words of Dorrian.

The absence of US support of the Turkish military operation in northern Syria is not a result of any conflict between the US and Turkey.

“What we would like to do is to continue to work with them [Turkish military] to develop a plan where everyone remains focused [on defeating IS],” the Colonel added.

The US refusal to support the Euphrates Shield Islamic-Turkish coalition in the offensive on al-Bab may be a result of disagreements between the US and Turkey on an issue of participation of Kurds in the fight against the IS. Currently, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) play a key role in an advance on Raqqa, organized by Washington. The non-interference of the US in the events, taking place to the west of the Euphrates, confirms existence of some agreement with Turkey on this issue.

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  • Pave Way IV

    Just before the U.S. ‘coalition’ bombed Syrian troops in Deir Ez Zor, the Defense Department announced Operation Noble Lance. They had to announce it after video of the soldiers emerged being driven out of Al Rai by angry militants who didn’t care for U.S. support of the Kurds. That didn’t make the Pentagon cancel Noble Lance, it just made them relocate this particular group of soldiers and made them all keep a lower profile.

    From Stratfor:

    “…Though the incident in al-Rai was significant, it overshadowed a far more important development in the Syrian civil war: Turkey has finally succeeded in securing direct U.S. ground support for its operations in Syria. The 40 U.S. soldiers who entered northern Aleppo are part of a new U.S. mission known as “Operation Noble Lance.” According to the Pentagon, the troops will provide the same training, advice and assistance to Turkish-backed rebels that they are currently giving to the Syrian Democratic Forces. The soldiers likely will also be used to call in U.S. airstrikes in support of rebels in northern Aleppo as they advance on the Islamic State…”

    Noble Lance is both a tactical (JTACs calling in strikes) and support (training, intel, ‘supplies’) for Euphrates Shield. They are just not doing it anymore for one specific operation today: al Bab. While the CJTF-OIR guy may not be outright lying, he is being deceptive. Turkmen militias and mercs don’t like the U.S. ‘helping out’. Arab tribes and FSA head-choppers al Zenki love the U.S. there – mostly for the arms, money and intel that are sure to follow. In order to appease both Turkey and the Kurds, the U.S. (via Dunford’s Ankara visit last month) arranged to have the al Bab operation billed as some kind of ‘independent’ move by the Turkish militias. CJTF-OIR immediately stopped the al Bab airstrikes that had been going on for weeks. Up until then, ‘someone’s’ F-16s were seen bombing around al Bab.

    Keep in mind that Erdogan has been repeatedly saying (for years) how he will take cities like Aziz, al Bab, Manbij ar Raqqa for his safe zone. Nothing has changed, no matter who they try to claim is moving on al Bab now. The U.S. knew that Erdogan always has and will go to al Bab. They know he will take over Manbij. They know he will send his Turkomen headchoppers to Efrin and to ar Raqqa. It’s not the U.S’s place anymore to control that – Erdogan is pissed off at us and could care less what the U.S. wants.

    The Pentagon is trying to distance themselves from an uncomfortable political situation, but they still 1) have SF in Euphrates Shield, 2) provide intel, training and equipment to head-choppers like al Zenki (who operate under ‘Turkish FSA’), and provide air support for their operations unless someone raises a stink (like in al Bab). They are not talking about it anymore and deny U.S. involvement, but then conveniently omit any mention of Noble Lance. You’ll never hear the OIR guy say the U.S. is not involved in/does not support Turkey’s Euphrates Shield because that would be an outright lie.

    • PZIVJ1943

      OP NOBLE LANCE should be renamed as US TOKEN FORCE. Their function is to show support for Turkey and nothing more. The coalition will support strikes on AL BAB, but not on the KURDS who are moving on Raqqa. Erdogan says that Turkey would like to take part in
      Raqqa!! Looking at the maps it may take them a year after they have complete victories against ISUS, YPG, SAA, and others! Their air support may be cut at any time by SY/RU. Turkey understands that this is an illegal operation and that it’s planes can be shot down!

  • Brad Isherwood

    http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1115323/original.jpg

    George Bush….the 1st Occutard!

    Erdogan will fail. ..and be despised… like The liar from Texas.

  • gustavo

    This is hard to believe !!!

  • abuqahwa

    !00% correct analysis – the phrase “does not support ” actually just means : ” we are not providing JTAC close air support at this time but hey Turkey is our vital NATO partner and we support their invasion and permanent occupation of northern Syria west of Euphrates and hey what the Turks do to the Efrin Kurds is their business … ” . Paveway IV and Stratfor nail it, Turkey will seize all country north of latitude 36 deg 30 min N as a minimum stop line Efrin – Marea – al Bab – Manbij – Euphrates, maybe go further to Tishrin Dam. YPG already pulling out of Manbij before the last crossing eastwards is blown or seized. Turkey has quite openly stated it’s strategic objectives, Efrin Kurds should be worried Turks will blitz from Reyhanli NE up river valley to link up with their merc jihadis in Azaz area, thus finally cutting off off this salient. Who will go to war with Turkey on behalf of Syrian Kurds ? No-one. We are witnessing the dismember/break-up of Syria as planned by the NATO – Saudi-Qatari axis powers all along.

  • LeseMajeste

    One can’t believe anything put out by my corrupt government of the USA, especially the Pentagon, who has a long history of losing trillions of dollars, which may be used to support the programs they say they don’t support.

  • Brad Isherwood

    Some background…
    http://www.voltairenet.org/article193902.html

    Turk military incursion into Syria…to split the Kurdish presence in Northern Syria.
    Erdogan went with Assad must go as he doubled down on Empire succeeding in its
    Plan for Syria.
    The Saudi Qatar pipeline …another bonus…and reason to choose this gambit.
    Erdogan being linked to Muslim Brotherhood. ….this ties to Saudi
    Regime change in Syria could become Muslim Brotherhood. ..if that succeeded.
    The MB post WW 2 presence in Syria forward,
    The foreign mercs cycling in with Takfiri.
    Erdogan taking stolen Syrian/Iraqi oil via ISIS ( Takfiri /MB)

    Erdogan now purging Kurd politicians after 100,000 arrests of Gulen to PKK Kurd
    And whoever else Erdogan hate.

    The Muslim Brotherhood play to take Syria down will fail.
    The pipeline route will not occur.
    The stolen oil racket is ending.

    Erdogan now has lost EU friendship. …lost again. …as Syria will not fall.
    While his military does at present divide the Kurd north of Syria.
    His position is weak…as Iraq is wanting his illegal presence in Iraq to end.
    At some point in the future….his presence in North Syria will face the same,
    As it is illegal.

    Turkey may have injured it’s Future by allowing the Muslim Brotherhood and the crime that
    Weaves with it to fill in….the changing landscape.
    Turkey has become a Fascist Dictatorship with police state.
    Just ask the Kurdish politicians arrested at night.