Disturbing video emerged today of U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels threatening to kill arriving U.S. special operations forces in the town of Al-Rai near Aleppo. The city was just seized weeks ago from the Islamic State after a push by Turkish troops aided by U.S. air power.
Here is some video from the incident from BBC producer Riam Dalati:
— Riam Dalati (@Dalatrm) September 16, 2016
Others shout in Turkish, “Death to America! We will behead you!”
Here is some of the video with translated subtitles:
The Telegraph reports:
The fighters scream anti-American chants as a column of pick-up trucks carrying US commandos drives away from them.
“Christians and Americans have no place among us,” shouts one man in the video. “They want to wage a crusader war to occupy Syria.”
Another man calls out: “The collaborators of America are dogs and pigs. They wage a crusader war against Syria and Islam. ”
The US troops are not wearing traditional uniform but they carry American weapons and are wearing the distinctive round helmets favoured by US special forces.
Other video shows the U.S. troops leaving the city as the “moderate” rebels shout threats to “slaughter” them:
— Levent Kemal (@ValkryV) September 16, 2016
The Pentagon just announced that the U.S. troops were entering the area to assist our Turkish NATO allies:
— Gordon Lubold (@glubold) September 16, 2016
But just yesterday, the U.S. troops came under fire reportedly by our Turkish NATO allies in Tal Abyad:
— Konstantin Krammer (@KonstantinKlug) September 16, 2016
According to Barbara Starr at CNN, the problem grew so bad that that U.S. fighters had to put up American flags to show they were friendlies:
Initial reports indicate US Special Ops forces in Tell Abyad Syria put up US flag to show identity as they came under fire: US officials — Barbara Starr (@barbarastarrcnn) September 16, 2016
One problem in Al-Rai, where the U.S. troops were threatened, is the presence of “al-Qaeda-lite” Ahrar al-Sham fighters — the darlings of the Washington, D.C. think tanks:
U.S sent their soldiers to Al rai town which has Ahrar Sham/Al qaeda presence. The US soldiers could’ve been killed. pic.twitter.com/VaOvz0QgcX
— Hamza Hemze حمزة (@sergermedx) September 16, 2016
Those who have been critical of the U.S. misadventure in Syria took time to note the obvious:
Regime change in Syria sounds really terrific until you consider that even the most moderate rebels are threatening to kill Americans. — Max Abrahms (@MaxAbrahms) September 16, 2016
But Charles Lister, senior fellow at the Middle East Institute and one of the chief think tank cheerleaders of the Syrian “rebels,” assures us that all is well after the incident in Al-Rai:
Via multiple sources:
– U.S SOF are back in Al-Rai, accompanied by FSA units.
– Those involved in earlier protest have been “discharged.”
— Charles Lister (@Charles_Lister) September 16, 2016
Perhaps some clarification from Lister on what “discharged” actually means is in order.
The incidents in Al-Rai and Tal Abyad demonstrate the ongoing collapse of the Obama administration’s Syria policy (though GOP congressional leaders have embraced the administration’s slow-motion disaster).
For more than two years I’ve been reporting here at PJ Media on the ongoing follies of the so-called “moderates” in Syria:
Sept. 13, 2014: Yet Another U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebel Group Makes Peace with ISIS
September 6, 2016: New ISIS Commander Was Trained by State Department as Recently as 2014
If only there had been some warning that things were going badly in Syria?