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November 29, 2015 / 17 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘us army’

US Soldiers Arrive in Turkey to Train ‘Moderate’ Rebels against ISIS

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Approximately 120 U.S. Army soldiers have landed in Turkey to train “moderate” Syrian rebels at a Turkish air force base, Hurriyet News reported Friday.

The Obama administration previously has announced a grandiose program to train and equip rebels fighting the Assad regime, which has been joined by the Iranian-back Hezbollah terrorist  organization.

Implementation of the program has been delayed because of disagreement over which fighters will be trained. The United States wants to vet fighters so that the weapons don’t end up in the hands of Al Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups, but that could mean that the best fighters won’t be trained.

American governments and their State Dept, gurus have a long and bloody history of ignorance of the Middle East, as well as Vietnam for those who recall the groups of “advisors” that ballooned into a full force of soldiers, 58,000 of whom were killed in the war in the 1960s and 70s.

A senior opposition commander in eastern Syria told Reuters, “When the Americans see anyone shout ‘Allahu Akbar! they think they’re Islamists.”

The Syrian rebels being trained by the American soldiers will return to Syria to fight the Islamic State (ISIS) and will take along machine guns and anti-tank weapons.

President Obama has been extremely reluctant to get involved in the civil war in Syria, and one wonders whether he simply is going through the motion to show that he is doing something, without actually doing much at all.

One rebel commander told Reuters that Syrians are most motivated to defeat Assad, whose regime he described to Reuters as the “biggest killer.”

Syria is geographically divided, with the ISIS controlling areas in eastern Syria.

The State Dept., in response to questioning from Sen. John McCain in March, wrote him, “Even when considered as a whole, U.S. government assistance to the moderate armed opposition will not be decisive in defeating regime forces.

“Nor will the fighters who receive this assistance, on their own, force Assad to change his calculus about trying to hold on to power.”

Exclusive: Syrian Activist Blasts Foreign Deal to Train, Arm & Equip Syrian ‘Moderate’ Forces

Friday, February 20th, 2015

A new U.S. agreement with Turkey to train and equip five thousand moderate Syrian opposition forces “is not a serious effort at all to win a war,” a displaced Syrian activist refugee says. Aboud Dandachi, who now lives in Istanbul, Turkey says a plan to train and arm 5,000 moderate Syrian opposition forces is “not serious at all.”

The plan signed by the United States at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara is intended to train, equip and arm 5,000 troops. Congress has already allocated half a billion dollars for the project, but according to a Pentagon spokesperson, only 1,200 “moderates” have been “identified” for the program slated to begin in mid-March. How long will it take U.S. military specialists to train, equip and arm 5,000 Syrian rebels? How effective will this program be? Will it help change the picture with Daesh, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terrorist group? Will anything be resolved in Syria by this?

Dandachi has had first-hand experience observing the factors that led to the nightmare that once was his homeland. A business person, he became a refugee within his own country after being forced to leave his home in Homs when the Syrian Army launched an artillery and tank assault on his neighborhood. After moving from one place to the next and following the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons against two Damascus neighborhoods, Dandachi made the painful decision to leave his homeland and traveled to Istanbul, arriving in September 2013.  He has a rather sardonic view of President Barack Obama’s new plan to help Syrian rebel forces. As to the American president’s international credibility …. well …

“Where do I begin with the problem with this approach,” Dandachi replied in an exclusive interview conducted via the Internet with JewishPress.com on Thursday. “If an Israeli wants a career in the IDF, he or she knows where to sign up. If any Jew anywhere in the world wants to dedicate a few years of their lives to serving Israel, they know the address.

“You can’t build a military by “scouting” soldiers; you need people to know where to come forward,” Dandachi said. “As a Syrian I can’t very well sit around and hope to be ‘discovered’ by Obama,” he continued. “And then if I were, it will be a cold day in hell before I trust him to sell me a used car, much less supply me with weapons.

“War is a potentially long term affair; will Obama keep this force supplied for the years it may take to have any effect? The Americans have proven notoriously fickle in the past,” he observed. (Ed. – More than one news commentator has made similar remarks, referencing America’s behavior in Iraq and Afghanistan, for starters.)

Somewhat taken aback by his candor, this writer asked a second time about the advisability of revealing his identity – but was told “by all means” to go ahead.

“I was never a fighter and I will never be one, I’ve never held a gun in my life, but I’m sure that’s what many potential fighters could be thinking right now,” Dandachi wrote. “When the U.S. went to war in WWII and Vietnam, it didn’t want to “vet” its potential pool of recruits – it drafted anyone above a certain age. When you wage all-out war you can’t hand-pick your fighters; you need to make sure of the widest possible amount of potential manpower available.

“Training” several thousand soldiers is not a serious effort at all to win a war,” he contended.

By the way — Dandachi’s point has some merit: how effective can 5,000 U.S.-trained troops be against the combined forces of Syrian military forces, backed and equipped by Russia and Iran, fighting side by side with the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guards force and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah guerrilla fighters?

Syrian “moderate” forces will also be facing the “other” Syrian rebel faction — that of the radical Islamist rebels linked to Al Qaeda (Jabhat al Nusra, for instance) and now also Daesh, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). That force alone numbers in the tens of thousands: the most recent estimates place the total number of “moderate” Syrian rebel fighters at best at 20,000.

Can this cause be saved?

ISIS Suicide Bombers Killed in Iraqi Base Hosting 400 US Soldiers

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Two dozen Islamic State (ISIS) fighters, including several with suicide bombing vests, were killed or blew themselves up Friday in a daring attack on an Iraqi air force base where 400 American soldiers are stationed.

At least two Iraqi soldiers were killed in the clash, approximately one mile from the area where U.S. soldiers were based. The Americans dispatched drones and Apache helicopters to help Iraqi forces, who overwhelmed the ISIS attackers without aerial assistance,.

All of the ISIS fighters, besides several suicide bombers, were killed in what was considered a well-planned and coordinate attack.

Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said, “They were signaling that our advisers were vulnerable, thus — they hope — driving Obama to pull them out.”

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, a Fox News contributor, said that ISIS is trying to show the “jihadi-world that they’re standing up to the Americans and replying to Obama’s claim that Islamic State has been stopped and turned back.”

The ISIS controls a city near the air base, which separates its forces from Baghdad.

Approximately 2,600 U.S. soldiers and advisers are stationed in Iraq.

Following the ISIS attack on the air base, the U.S.-led strike force carried out more than a dozen aerial bombings of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria, hitting a rocket system, fighters and tanks.

US to Send 400 Soldiers to Train ‘Moderate’ Rebels

Friday, January 16th, 2015

The Obama administration has announced that 400 U.S. Army soldiers will be deployed in Middle Eastern countries to train more than 5,000 “moderate” Syrian rebels.

Support systems and personnel also will be deployed at the training bases in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, according to Defense Dept. spokeswoman Elissa Smith.

President Barack Obama has maintained a policy that no American soldiers will set foot in Syria to help put an end to the civil war that has raged almost four years and has turned the Islamic State into a household world.

Obama apparently has decided on training rebels since the American-led aerial campaign against ISIS has not stopped the beheaders from actually taking over more territory in Syria.

The war has attracted the participation of almost every big-name terrorist group in the world, and each rebel group has appeared to be as barbaric as the army of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

There are apparently enough surviving “moderates” whom officials in the Obama administration  want to train, but Reuters reported that it will take 15,000 rebels to take back territory held by the Islamic State (ISIS), which has become Obama’s favorite target in the Middle East, even more than the ‘peace process.”

He also has authorized 3,000 troops to act as advisers in Iraq, which was supposed to have become a freedom-loving democracy long ago as a result of the American foreign policy program.

Now all the U.S. Army has to do is figure which rebel is a fighter and not a terrorist, meaning which one is “moderate” by not belonging to ISIS or Al Qaeda.

“We … know the Syrian opposition better now than we did two years ago through the programs we’ve had providing non-lethal assistance,” Smith said.

In the understatement of the day, an unidentified senior defense official told Defense One, “This is going to be hard. We have to recruit the guys; we have to assume that there are a lot of guys who are recruitable; there’s got to be some vetting. This is not going to be an easy enterprise here.”





We Stand Behind US Actions in Syria

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The U.S.-led attack on the “Islamic State” (or ISIL, as President Obama prefers to call them) deserves our full support in light of the brave and just decision to attack infrastructure targets under “Islamic State” control, despite the unavoidable ensuing collateral damage.

The U.S. is fighting a war against a dangerous and barbaric enemy, like Israel recently fought against Hamas.

It’s impossible to win a fight with one arm tied behind your back, and President Obama has shown courageous leadership with his decision to take the gloves off and attack the “Islamic State” properly, despite the potentially high cost.

We are sure that the United States Armed Forces are taking all necessary precautions to reduce civilian casualties and infrastructure damage where possible.

In fact, we believe Israel should take a page right out of President Obama’s playbook the next time it needs to fight a war against Hamas or Hezbollah.

Senate Approves ‘ISIS Bill’ – US Military Hopes for More

Friday, September 19th, 2014

The U.S. Senate approved the “ISIS bill” 78-22 in a ‘last gasp’ vote Thursday, approving a measure to train and arm 5,000 Syrian rebels one day after members of Congress had done the same.

After the vote, both senators and congress members then fled Capitol Hill, heading for a grueling fall campaign prior to midterm elections.

The bill itself went straight to the desk of President Barack Obama to be signed into law.

But even as the president prepared to approve the measure intended to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group, U.S. military leaders are growing more concerned. So is the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), who was quoted by the Washington Post as saying Obama should listen to his commanders.

“I think it’s very important that he does follow the advice and counsel that he receives, the professional advice of the military. They are the ones best suited to do that,” McKeon said.

But as to Obama’s ban on ‘boots on the ground,’ the lawmaker added, “I realize he’s commander in chief, he has the final say and the final obligation and responsibility. I would also request that he not take options off the table.”

Retired Marine General James Mattis told the House Intelligence Committee in testimony on Thursday that Obama’s ban on combat troops in the Middle East would cripple the military.

“Half-hearted or tentative efforts – or air strikes alone – can backfire on us and actually strengthen our foes’ credibility,” Mattis told American lawmakers. “We may not wish to reassure our enemies in advance that they will not see American boots on the ground.”

The testimony followed a public suggestion two days earlier by the chairman of the Joint chiefs of Staff, U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey, not to rule out the possibility. According to the Post, Dempsey pointed out that Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander for the Middle East, had already made the recommendation at least once in connection with a case in Iraq – but was overruled.

The U.S. military has carried out 176 air strikes against ISIS in Iraq since August 8. Obama has hinted the U.S. will also carry out air strikes against the terror group in Syria as well.

But given the clear opposition expressed by Iran and Russia, let alone Syria — and to some extent, the threatening posture maintained by Iran over the issue – it is not at all clear when or even if Obama will actually send American warplanes into Syrian skies.

US School Bars Military Dad – Army Uniform ‘Might Offend’ Students

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

A security guard at a high school in Rochester Hills, Michigan, stopped a military dad from entering the building this week because he was wearing his Army uniform.

Lt. Col. Sherwood Baker had stopped by Rochester Adams High School to deal with a scheduling issue for his daughter, his wife Rachel Ferhadson told Fox News.

But the guard wouldn’t let him in the door. Baker was told to either take off the uniform or use the phone.

“They told him some kids might not understand, and might be offended,” Ferhadson said. “So they gave him a choice, told him he could phone in to the office or go home and change his clothes.”

Instead, Baker and his wife called the office of the school superintendent – who himself had served as a combat Marine.

A staff member came out to let the Lieutenant Colonel into the school.

The superintendent, Robert Shaner told them he was “appalled” at what had happened. The principal expressed “regret” to the family.

Baker’s wife said the school has “taken steps to correct what happened,” but added that she “doesn’t know what they would have done” if her husband had not been allowed into the school.

Shaner, meanwhile, released a statement to Fox 2 in Detroit, saying, “The district has apologized for any perception that individuals in uniform are not welcome in the school. The district does not have a policy excluding individuals in uniform and will be working with administration and the firm that handles our security to make sure district policies are understood and communicated accurately.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-school-bars-military-dad-army-uniform-might-offend-students/2014/09/10/

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