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Syria Shootout Demonstrates Precarious Environment For U.S. Forces

March 5, 2020

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

A single checkpoint in Northeastern Syria recently became a flashpoint — and in our latest Bellingcat collaboration with Newsy, we show you how.

U.S. troops have patrolled the Turkish-Syria border since 2017. This is a means of trying to keep tensions at bay between numerous local factions. This has particularly concerned Turkey — which is, and this is crucial, a NATO partner — and Kurdish militias that have been helping the United States fight ISIS.

Yet in October of 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump suddenly announced that U.S. troops are being pulled out of Northeastern Syria. This meant that Turkey could send its own troops in. The Turkish invasion in turn paved the way for Russian patrols, and strengthened the presence of the Syrian regime forces.

You know the old adage about how “too many cooks spoil the broth”? This is kind of like that, especially due to the fact that plans for a complete withdrawal by the U.S. did not come to fruition.

Watch the video for a detailed breakdown of how already tense and crowded situations can spill over.

Note: Earlier this month, the Newsy + Bellingcat team won the prestigious Scripps Howard Award for Innovation.

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13 Comments

  1. stewart

    What you fail to say is that the people attacking the American convoy are actually Kurdish and it was a Kurdish village that they were passing through but you would like to mislead people by calling them Assad militia. This shows that some Kurds do not want the Americans in their country either and would prefer the Russians

    Reply
    • HeartPumpee

      No, I don’t know what have you watched, but 100% of this material is about syrian Kurdistan. It’s mentioned at the beginning. So yes, that was Kurdish village, and no one is misleading nobody.
      That shootout took place after Trump, indeed betrayed Kurds. Not for interest of America but Putin, which proves that either he’s his asset or simply, an giant useful idiot. So as you may imagine, with help of few Russian agitators, profiting on antiamerican sentiments – disappointed illiterate crowds are eager to start shooting.
      All that 2016 election meddling is paying of.

      Russians and Turks just filling the void. Because there’s an imbecile in WH.

      Reply
  2. John

    Trump with the support of the US military machine now own Syrian oilfields so US presence is required to keep away the Syrians.

    Reply
    • Adam

      Those oil fields are insignificant. Trump smoke. Fodder for the uninformed and uneducated. Meanwhile our people are put at risk for pretending he’s doing something of value. He’s working for Putin. That’s it. Furthermore it is against international law for Trump or the US government to profit from Syrian oil. Russians are laughing at us and harassing our people.

      Reply
  3. gert feikens

    I just read a patriotic and biased political military analysis. Please keep the viewpoint neutral and based on facts.

    Reply
  4. Sean_Lamb

    Looks like the Dutch have infected Eliot Higgins with corona virus. I did warn him he needed to seek asylum in Russia before he got Le Mesuriered

    https://twitter.com/EliotHiggins/status/1235908703066509313

    The word on the ground is the Dutch government has been spreading the virus like crazy so they can get out of that trial that is supposed to start on Monday….and then hint the GRU was behind the outbreak.

    Reply
  5. Jeroen

    Typical Russian style distraction.

    1 Russian government does not want the MH17 trail to happen, because it will reveal who were and are responsable.
    2 Acuse somebody else, hide that it is in your own interest.

    Reply
    • Sean_Lamb

      I don’t know Jeroen, the Dutch like to boast that they managed to tap into the feed of the security cameras of the GRU.

      Apparently the GRU have managed to turn the tables and hack into the AIVD and MIVD security cameras. They have since posted the results to youtube

      Reply
  6. Jeroen

    Apart from hacking attempts GRU did try to send at least eight of their men to gather intell on MH17 in Netherlands.
    They were misinformed, most evidence is in Moskva and Kursk.
    Please send more of them, they are most welcome.

    Reply

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