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NEWS: U.S. Hits 'Foreign Fighters' Near Iraq-Syria Border

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posted on May, 9 2005 @ 03:23 PM
American forces in Iraq battled "insurgents and foreign fighters" this weekend near the nation's border with Syria, the U.S. military said Monday, killing at least 75 people in 24 hours. The operation began Saturday in Anbar province north of the Euphrates River, said Col. Bob Chase, a Marine operations officer based at Camp Blue Diamond in Ramadi.
In a statement, the military said the fighting was located in the Al Jazirah Desert, a region known as a smuggling route.

Insurgents, have been using "known points of entry and 'rat lines,' as we call them, to bring in weapons illegally," Chase said.

Based on their "equipment and dress," Chase said most of the insurgents are believed to be foreign fighters rather than Iraqis.

Casualties from the battle have been " extremely light on the coalition side," Chase said, "and conversely there have been a lot of enemy casualties."

Many of the fighters "are starting to flee, and we are continuing to press the attack."

The battle includes coalition and Marine Corps aircraft and forces from the U.S. Army, Navy and Marines, the military said.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Could Syria be next? They are getting really close to that border. Does Syria have a good army? Tell me what you think.

posted on May, 9 2005 @ 03:55 PM
Syria has a large, well trained army, but not without it's problems:

The Syrian military remains one of the largest and best-trained forces in the Arab World. Despite losing every major conflict since 1948, it has distinguished itself as a highly disciplined and motivated force that has gained the respect of the Israeli military. In particular, the Syrian army is known to have developed the skills necessary to breach the type of defense in depth found on the Golan Heights, obviously a potent factor in any future conflict with Israel.

However, its combat strength has deteriorated dramatically during the last decade as its equipment has become increasingly obsolescent and poorly maintained. The collapse of the Soviet Union, which created immense problems of re-supply, equipment and spare parts for the Syrians, and the slow down experienced by the Syrian economy resulted in a considerable downgrading of the military's combat efficiency. This was most evident, perhaps, in the fall of 1998 amid rising tensions between Turkey and Syria over the Assad regime's support for Kurdish PKK guerrillas, when it became quite clear that Syria was incapable of mounting a serious deployment of forces on the Turkish border.

A second weakness that pervades all branches of the Syrian military was largely inherited from Soviet military advisers over the years - the unwillingness of staff officers or field commanders to show initiative or react independently to a crisis without observing the usual chain of command, slowing down the military's ability to respond to either an enemy move or to take advantage of occasional openings for offensive action. This was painfully evident during Syria's clash with Israeli forces in Lebanon during the early 1980's, when Syrian commanders confined the operations of the forces under their command to a pre-determined course of action, irrespective of the circumstances that prevailed on the battlefield, and exhibited little combat initiative.

The Syrian Military: A Primer

Syria has been a conduit for terrorists into Iraq since the war began, as well as a haven for Iraqi military members loyal to Saddam.

Could they be next? Seeing as how fast they got out of Lebanon when the pressure began to build, I doubt it they'd be much of a factor.

posted on May, 9 2005 @ 03:58 PM
I firmly believe that the US would not go after Syria as they are backed by most of the countries in the middle-east. This was brought up back during Desert Storm as well as the initial phase of the Iraq war.
Going after Syria, would do more to destabilize the region and cause even more trouble than anything else


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