OK, so it should be easy enough to figure out what’s going on, yeah?
I couldn’t get my phone to link, but according to CNN, Iraq has not given us permission to station the troops from Syria in northern Iraq yet. They could rotate some of the existing US forces out and have the Syria special forces take their place. IOW, no plan = even more of a total fuck up by this administration.
[REDACTED COMMENTS: PLACEHOLDER]
GENERALIZED QUESTIONS RECAPPING SITUATION
Well, when you put it that way, all listed out like that, it sounds awful!
But basically, yeah. A few minor tweaks, since you seem to want to nail it all down:
- The oil fields are in south eastern Syria, just east of the Euphrates which (obviously) provides for a more defensible position between Damascus and “the Kurds”; the region is sorta jointly run by Assad and the Kurds, but the spigot has been turned off for like 8 years.
- The location matters because it’s smack dab in the middle of Iran’s covered northern corridor to Lebanon, so Assad has multiple reasons to want to control the area. Also, during their withdrawal, a bunch of the US forces parked for a bit by the oil fields. People speculate it was to send a message, but seeing as they promptly left for Iraq, what that message was is anybody’s guess.
- Speaking of the withdrawal, yes there were more US bases/posts than the media reports made it sound like. The US had a base in Manbij-a relatively good sized one, and it would not be surprising if there were outposts. As part of their withdrawal, the US left the Manbij base (after transferring control to the Russians; the officers in charge of this need medals) for Kobani, where their base nearer the Turkish border was located and which Erdogan promised Trump not to attack. Despite this promise, the US forces had to bid a hasty retreat under air support, and had to blow up a base that was also an arms/ammunition dump. That base was neither Manbij or Kobani but had been established in a cement factory southeast of Manbij (It’s even google maps). So there’s two other bases at least besides the one that was blown up, even though most media reported it as “they blew up the base.” In fairness, though, learning all the place names in three languages each is a nasty task.
- With respect to the detention facilities, the whole way thing is a nightmare. First, there are non-detention refugee camps for IDP (Internally Displaced People) from, well, the wars. This appears to be in he six figures. Then there are the thousands of ISIS prisoners. But THEN there are the TENS of thousands of ISIS family members and supporters, mostly women in children. Apparently one of these camps is like 70k people which I can’t fathom. They are hard as hell to manage too, with the limited resources and attempting to wage war at the same time. At one camp they tried to install lights to help prevent escapes (TFSA militia sometimes attempt jail breaks.) and the women destroyed them all by throwing rocks at them. They’ve captured some escapees, but I’m not sure they even really know how many have escaped, to say nothing of in the future.
- In this vein, their new future doesn’t involve US troops in the area to dissuade even the most aggressive SNA/TFSA units from firing upon some of the cities… although that respect seemed to falter when they announced their withdrawal, as per the above mentioned withdrawal from Kobani. Assad’s troops are now mixed in to the front line defenses including heavy weaponry. Turkey has a much larger armed forces, though, Syria has obviously been weakened by years of war and continues to fight on the eastern front, and the US wouldn’t give the SDF anything more than small arms (e.g. AK-47s, some mortors, stuff like that) and even convinced the Kurds to dismantle their ground fortifications to appease Turkey. And then they found out that the US was pulling out. Do the math. Of course, there’s one more variable (besides fucking Iran…)
- The Russians seem to have the “respect” of the SNA and do not get fired upon when they patrol, as Russian media gleefully reports. Russia has been operating more in the northeast and east, leaving most of the border to Syria/SDF. Russia is of course, meeting with Erdogan, so it remains to see what they do.
That’s a lot of fine detail, but yeah, your post was basically on point. If anything, these addendums intensify the yuck.
It will also be much more difficult from a tactical and logistical POV to keep an eye on ISIS and to do anything to about them should the situation warrant taking action, as it undoubtedly will.
Ayup. Europe has been expressing concern about this; they had no idea “the west” would not have a presence in the ground there, and they are not happy about it.
So yeah, that’s a huge, huge problem.
And keep in mind nobody in the region will trust the US again, even if they accept arms or something, they won’t count on us. But it’s a bit more complicated than most people initially realize…
I mean, even if there were another group besides SDF we could in good conscience support—
Nota Bene: ISIS is believed to have widely contaminated the Syrian opposition militias; the more punk rock sorts probably would just join Rojava as the jihadis moved in for Armageddon. ISIS spent much of 2016, I believe, attempting to goad “Rome” into battle at Dabiq to let the End of Times roll. Seriously.
—even if we could find one that was at least acceptable to us, we have to realize that Rojava was super progressive and welcomed our help. You know what the rest of the region saw?
“We will come to your country and give your women guns.”
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. 🙂
<DAMMIT IT’S BEEN LOCKED>
[Edit: Well that sucks. That was a great hype video.]