Al-Mayadeen, an Arab-owned satellite television channel in Lebanon, claims U.S. military advisers are training Turkmen rebels in Syria.
Pentagon says it is “working with local fighters” against ISIS in northern Syria.
“American officers began training Turkmen militants around Salma in the Latakia Province,” al-Mayadeen reported, citing an unnamed military source.
Latakia is where Russia has set up an air base.
“Syrian military sources cited by RIA Novosti say that no IS forces currently hold positions in northern Latakia. Instead, the Syrian Turkmen militants are fighting alongside the al-Nusra Front extremists against the Syrian Army,” RT reports today.
On October 30 Obama “authorized a contingent of fewer than 50 commandos to deploy into northern Syria and work with moderate opposition forces who are fighting the militants.”
On November 1 the Anadolu Agency, a Turkish government news outlet, reported “Turkey and the U.S., supported by local Turkmen forces, have begun staging ground assaults and airstrikes against positions held by Daesh terrorist group near the Syrian-Turkish border.”
The force included troops from the Sultan Murad Division of the Syrian Turkmen Brigades and the Damascus Front.
The Turkmen, under the auspices of Ankara, are as interested in fighting the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) as they are in fighting the Islamic state in Syria. The YPG is considered a terrorist group by the government of Turkey.
The Syrian Turkmen Brigades are a Turkish military and intelligence asset controlled by the Turkish Special Forces Command.
The so-called Damascus Front is a rebranding of al-Jabha al-Shamiya, aka the Levant Front. It is a coalition consisting of “a bewildering mass of smaller subfactions, whose ideological and political connections vary,” and includes elements loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood and other Sunni Islamists.
Shamiya established the Aleppo Operations Room (Fatah Halab) on April 26, 2015. It cooperates with Ansar al-Sharia, an Islamist operations room that works with al-Nusra. Ansar al-Sharia intends to govern Aleppo under sharia law.
Liwa al-Haqq is another faction under the Shamiya banner. Its commander, Abu Abdullah Taftanaz, tweeted a message addressing the “infidel Russians,” inviting them to send troops to Syria and saying that “we have thousands like Khattab” who would “slaughter your pigs.”
Khattab is a reference to the late Ibn al-Khattab, known as the Osama bin Laden of Chechnya. Khattab and fellow rebel leader Shamil Basayev were trained and indoctrinated in CIA sponsored camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Once again the United States is engaged in a shell game. It claims to be supporting “moderate rebels” in the effort to defeat ISIS, which is in fact a thinly disguised effort to overthrow Bashar al-Assad. Upon closer examination it is obvious the recently announced support is intended for the only effective mercenary groups in the region: al-Qaeda, al-Nusra and a cobbled together coalition of radical Sunni Islamists.