US supports Kurdish-led SDF to retake Manbij city from ISIS. Photo: ARA News
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ERBIL – The United States has rejected criticism of Iran and Syria that the additional deployment of 150 U.S. forces in northern Syria is illegitimate.
The Syrian and Iranian governments have rejected the additional deployment of 150 U.S. forces in Syria, suggesting it is a blatant act of aggression that constitutes a dangerous intervention and a gross violation of Syria’s sovereignty.
“Well, he’s right. We didn’t seek the Syrian Government’s approval before making this decision, and I find it the height of irony to call this a blatant act of aggression when they continue to gas and barrel bomb their own people and are reportedly now bombing a hospital in Aleppo. That and those are blatant acts of aggression against their own people, their own citizens,” John Kirby, the spokesperson of the US State Department said on Friday.
“This is – and I’ll say it again, as I’ve said several times today – this is an additional increase of Special Operations Forces that will be doing advise and assist missions to help those fighters who are going against Daesh become more effective in the field. That’s it. That’s their job,” he added.
According to the US government they have enough legal authority to send US troops to Syria to fight against the Islamic State.
“We have – the President has the authorities he needs to go after Daesh, and that’s what this is, and this is part of a coalition effort. We’re not the only ones involved in this fight. There’s 66 other nations in the coalition and there’s plenty – there is legal authority to do this.”
US special units to support Syrian Democratic Forces in fight against ISIS
“They are on the ground to support – to assist and to advise counter-Daesh fighters. And there are many groups fighting Daesh and not all of them are Kurdish,” US State Department spokesman John Kirby said, using an acronym for ISIS.
“Kurdish fighters have been brave. They’ve been courageous. They have been successful. Our goal is to provide advice and assistance to all those who can effectively go after Daesh,” he added.
Analysts say most likely these forces will back up the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as the only force they trust to fight the Islamic State.
“The U.S. has calculated, without emotion, that the Syrian Democratic Forces as a multi-ethnic model is one that is well worth investing in, and the most reliable platform against ISIS in Syria,” Nicholas A. Heras, a Middle East researcher at the Centre for a New American Security, said in an interview with ARA News.
“The U.S. is investing heavily in the Syrian Democratic Forces to provide territory inside of Syria from which to stage this gathering anti-ISIS campaign,” he added.
According to the Washington-based analyst, the US will also back Arabs that joined the SDF forces.
“The U.S. effort will not be exclusively through the Syrian Democratic Forces, but will be primarily run through the Syrian Democratic Forces because the U.S. military has built up over a year and a half of operational experience with the Syrian Democratic Forces,” he told ARA News.
“The U.S. is increasing its investment in training anti-ISIS, Sunni Arab fighters through or adjutant to the SDF structure. The U.S. wants to scale up the anti-ISIS campaign in Syria and hasten the defeat of ISIS on the battlefield and the dismantlement of ISIS’s governance structures in eastern Syria,” he added.
Speaking to ARA News, SDF advisor Dr. Nasir Haji Mensour said that the US-led coalition against the Islamic State is impressed with the advances of the SDF. “There were some statements by the coalition’s officials that they have never seen soldiers like the YPG [Kurdish units that lead the SDF] that made such fast coordination and movement,” he said.
“So, that’s why we make advance and progress, and the air cycle is very precise in starting convoy and trucks, for example Russian airstrikes that support the Syrian regime don’t hit targets precisely, even though they give them coordinates,” he added.
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg
Source: ARA News