Russians Bomb US Allies And Their Advisers In Surprise Syria Strike

Russian Defense Ministry

In a shocking sortie that could sour the already contentious relationship between global powers, the Russian military attacked "a location known to the Russians to contain Syrian Democratic Forces & Coalition advisors" on Sep. 16, U.S. military officials said.

“Russian forces struck a target east of the Euphrates River in Syria near Days Az Zawr, causing injuries to Coalition partner forces” on Saturday morning, according to a press release from the headquarters of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, which oversees the U.S.-led fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

The fighters hurt in the Russian fusillade were members of the Syrian Democratic Forces, an umbrella organization of mostly Kurdish and Arab militias aligned with the U.S. military to defeat ISIS. While OIR representatives didn't specify whether American troops were on the ground with the SDF during the attack, they did say in their release that “Multinational Coalition troops advising the SDF were present but not wounded as a result of the Russian strike.”

The Russian military, which has bases in Syria and enjoys a client relationship with the nation's hereditary dictator, Bashar al-Assad, has said it supports the U.S. campaign against ISIS in the nation. But in the broader Syrian civil war in which ISIS gained a foothold, some of America's SDF allies also oppose Assad's continued rule, and his backing from Russian and Iranian leadership.

Those and other simmering international tensions in Syria led the U.S. and Russia to open a "deconfliction line" to make sure the powers' military operations didn't butt heads. But butt heads they have: After a U.S. Navy pilot shot down a Syrian Air Force jet last summer, the Russians threatened to target coalition aircraft.

The latest attack on U.S. allies could portend larger problems in America's relationship with Russia, which has also been strained by diplomatic retaliations and suspicions over the country's alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign.

But the U.S. military's top commander in Syria struck a surprisingly conciliatory tone in his first comments about the strike. “Coalition officials are available and the de-confliction line with Russia is open 24 hours per day,” Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, chief of CJTF-OIR, said in the command's press release. “We put our full efforts into preventing unnecessary escalation among forces that share ISIS as our common enemy.”


An Oregon Air National Guard F-15C Eagle that made an emergency landing on Wednesday ditched its entire arsenal of live air-to-air missiles before touching down at Portland International Airport, The War Zone reports.

Read More Show Less

Several hundred U.S. troops will remain in Syria after allied forces clear ISIS fighters out of their last stronghold in the country, officials said on Friday.

President Donald Trump announced in December that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, but Sen. Lindsey Graham has since made a strong push to keep a small residual force along the Turkish border along with troops from European allies.

Read More Show Less
Chris Osman (Photo: _chris_osman_designs/Instagram)

The former Navy SEAL among a group of eight men arrested earlier this week in Port-au-Prince on weapons charges says he was providing security work "for people who are directly connected to the current President" of Haiti.

"We were being used as pawns in a public fight between him and the current Prime Minister of Haiti," said Chris Osman, 44, in a post on Instagram Friday. "We were not released we were in fact rescued."

Read More Show Less
Former Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis (DoD photo)

A Richland, Washington city councilman thinks native son Jim Mattis would make a terrific governor or even president.

Read More Show Less

It's a photo for the ages: a Marine NCO, a Greek god in his dress blues, catches the eye of a lovely young woman as her boyfriend urges her on in distress. It's the photographic ancestor of the much-loved "distracted boyfriend" stock photo meme, made even sweeter by the fact that this is clearly a sailor about to lose his girl to a Devil Dog.

Well, this photo and the Marine in it, which hopscotched around Marine Corps Facebook and Instagram pages before skyrocketing to the front page of Reddit on Thursday, are very real.

The photo shows then-Staff Sgt. Louis A. Capozzoli — and he is absolutely not on his way to steal your girl.

Read More Show Less