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Trump Just Sent 400 Marines Into The Middle Of A Seven-Army Warzone

Trump Just Sent 400 Marines Into The Middle Of A Seven-Army Warzone

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President Trump and the Pentagon are sending 400 U.S. Marines to Syria, putting boots on the ground to fight the forces of Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) and recklessly putting our forces directly in the middle of a dangerous seven-army standoff that teeters on turning into a much wider conflict.

“If we’re going to go into Syria and fight the Islamic State, we’re going to create a whole lot of wreckage. We’ve interjected ourselves into a multi­sided war” says Aaron Stein of the Atlantic Council.

The 11th Marine Expeditionary Force is set to deploy to the city of Manbij, currently held by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition of local Arab and Turkmen militias allied with the Rojava Kurdish People’s Protection Units that are fighting to liberate the countryside from Daesh.

The 75th Rangers Regiment is already on the ground in Manbij to help support the SDF offensive against Daesh’s capital of Raqqa.

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The SDF, a multicultural and democratic coalition, are the most effective and most responsible allies we have in the fight against Daesh. But our support for them puts us in direct confrontation another close “ally,” Turkey, whose support we need to operate the vital US Air Force base at Incirlik, where we have stored at least 50 nuclear bombs.

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Late last year, the Turkish Army joined forces with local Free Syrian Army units, including notorious hard-line Islamist groups like Ahrar al-Sham, to ostensibly “liberate” areas from Daesh but really aiming to cut off the SDF advance across northern Syria in the “Euphrates Shield” offensive as part of Turkey’s genocidal war against the Kurdish people.

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The Turkish army, an ally of the United States, is now in direct conflict with the SDF, another US ally, because of the YPG’s ties to the Turkish Kurd PKK rebels fighting against the repression of the Kurdish people in south Turkey.

To prevent an all-out war from igniting, the SDF has allowed the regime’s Syrian Arab Army to occupy several villages west of Manbij, creating a buffer zone between the Euphrates Shield and SDF.

The SAA is likely accompanied by Russian Special Operations units, Iranian Revolutionary Guard units, and militia units of Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

To recap: our Marines are being deployed smack in the middle of at least seven different armies that are all itching for a fight.

 “That’s not a small policy change. It is a huge policy change. We have never in our Syrian policy ever put U.S. personnel in between warring Syrian factions or to maintain a local cease-fire” says the former ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford.

To make matters worse, Turkish President Erdogan has just announced that the Euphrates Shield forces will be moving against Manbij, possibly putting US soldiers in the crossfire between two close allies.

President Obama was extremely reluctant to deploy boots on the ground in Syria due to the rapidly changing tactical situation on the ground and attempted to walk a tightrope, placating both the Turks and the Kurds while attacking Daesh from the skies.

While the Kurds of Rojava and the SDF deserve our full support, the United States cannot keep playing this back and forth. President Trump is recklessly dragging our nation into yet another Middle Eastern ground war, so intent on being able to say he “destroyed” Daesh that he and his planners are giving no consideration to the volatility of the situation on the ground, putting our troops in danger and threatening our precarious relations with the region’s many warring factions.

Here’s a map of the situation on the ground.

Green signifies Euphrates Shield (FSA+Turkey) controlled territory; yellow is Syrian Democratic Forces + YPG territory, and red is Regime + Russia/IRGC/Hezbollah coalition. Orange is the area being handed over from YPG to the regime to create a buffer zone between Turkey and the YPG.

Biji YPG.

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