Raqqa, Syria (TFC)— Like a ghost echoing it’s own death, the first photo’s of US “advisors” inside Syria surface as they join opposition forces on the front. Although just a few, the pictures represent a looking glass perspective of a black-war. What is shown rings of an old truth–things aren’t always what they seem to be.
Taken by an unnamed photographer of Agence-France Presse, Department of Defense says, several photo’s leaked to the web Thursday. According to New York Times, they were shot in the village of Fatisah, showing commando’s “assisting” opposition forces push to ISIS-held Raqqa.
Although Pentagon officials say the American’s weren’t involved in fighting, a Syrian commander told the photographer they’d launched rockets towards a booby-trapped car. Militia fighters were then pushing on an Islamic State position, though the full extent of the fighting is unknown. Colonel Steve Warran said the operatives were east of the Euphrates River, heavily occupied by Kurdish and Arab fighters. The photographer also captured stills of Kurdish militia members, players in Syria’s multi-sided, chymiera-war.
Several interesting features appear in both photo’s which are worthy of mention. Although the men appear to be one team, their uniforms are irregular. Some wear desert olive fatigues while one sports green modified camouflage. Different boots, under clothing, and even patches are visible in the recently released images. Only one name tag appears present: pinned to a machine gun armed point-man, “Hate”.
New York Time’s photo shows another American with individualized fatigues, though similar to the point-man’s. This third man, like his teammates, has no discernible name tag, as would any conventional soldier or marine. All the men are bearded, a trait of US special forces often called “going native”.
In his documentary “Dirty Wars”, journalist Jeremy Scahill interviewed an Afghan family whose home was raided by commando’s. One family member said these soldiers are dubbed “the American Taliban” by Afghans due to their beards, and notorious ruthlessness and cruelty. During this particular raid, after killing several family members including pregnant women, the Americans reputedly dug the bullets out of the ruined bodies.
In a second photograph, commando’s can be seen in pick-up trucks similar to those used by rebels, though with American armaments. Grenade launchers, machine guns, and some form of longer range rifle all appear within their reach. The men were silent, NY Times reports, and refused to speak to the photographer, and their unit remains a mystery.
Some wore American flags, others Kurdish militia patches, apparently a form of solidarity, Col. Warren said. The photographer claimed to have seen at least 20 American’s in Fatisah, though many more were nearby. Adding to the foggy story, a militia commander reputedly said American’s were “present at all positions along the front.” Such claims are not uncommon, and have been reported in both Iraq and Syria since ISIS first claimed dirt.
Of course, Pentagon officials categorically deny that troops are anywhere near the front. Despite their apparent passive role, more “advisors” continue to surge into the embattled country doing who know’s what. Both US special forces and CIA have involved themselves in separate rebel training programs, recruits of which recently shot at each other.
Additionally, “moderate” forces military officials claim to support essentially no longer exist, supplemented by hardened jihadists. These are the fighters battling Assad’s regime, Kurds, and one another, locking Syria in perpetual chaos. The Pentagon’s latest rebel program was essentially a reactivation of an earlier failed CIA program called Division 30. Simultaneously, more commando’s flooded the country while their Russian counterparts watched from Assad’s side of the field. Syria’s war is now nearing 5 years old, and we’re only just now seeing the faces committing acts we’ll never experience. As has been said, there’s no embedding with them.