The Marines recently completed a live-fire exercise in Syria – the one place more hostile to human life than Twentynine-Palms – during which they trained with Syrian rebels backed by the U.S. government, according to U.S. Central Command.
Operation Apex Tuefelhunden was conducted from Sept. 7-11 near the At Tanf garrison in eastern Syria, according to pictures released by the Marine Corps on Friday. The company-sized element from 3d Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment was attached to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force, Crisis Response-Central Command.
“Our forces will demonstrate the capability to deploy rapidly, assault a target with integrated air and ground forces, and conduct a rapid exfiltration anywhere in the OIR combined joint operations area,” CENTCOM spokesman Navy Capt. Bill Urban said in a Sept. 7 news release.
Marines partnered with the Syrian opposition group Maghawir Al-Thawra – or “Commandos of the Revolution” – which has partnered with the U.S.-led coalition to defeat ISIS in Syria. The exercise took place in the 55-kilometer de-confliction zone around At Tanf, which separates U.S. troops and Syrian partner groups from Syrian regime forces and their Russian allies.
“The U.S. does not require any assistance in our efforts to destroy [Islamic State] in the At Tanf de-confliction zone, and we advised the Russians to remain clear,” CENTCOM spokesman Lt. Col. Earl Brown told the Los Angeles Times on Sept. 7.
President Donald Trump hit back at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday with a letter saying he was "sorry to inform" her that her trip to Brussels, Belgium and Afghanistan would be canceled due to the government shutdown, just one day after Pelosi proposed cancelling the State of the Union address for similar reasons.
Marine Corps drill instructor R. Lee Ermey in his iconic role in 'Full Metal Jacket' (Warner Bros.)
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