US bombs its own ammo dump in Syria as most troops beat a hasty retreat from the country


VIDEO: The US withdraws from Syria, Turkey invades, and the Kurds are caught in the middle

The U.S. military's withdrawal from northeast Syria is looking more like Dunkirk every day.

On Wednesday, the U.S. military had to call in an airstrike on one of its own ammunition dumps in northern Syria because the cargo trucks required to safely remove the ammo are needed elsewhere to support the withdrawal, Task & Purpose has learned.

Two F-15Es destroyed the LaFarge Cement factory between Kobane and Ayn Issa after all U.S. troops had left the area, said Army Col. Myles Caggins, a spokesman for the U.S.-led military coalition fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

"Blowing the ammo was part of the plan," Caggins told Task & Purpose. "Abandoning unguarded ammo would not be prudent."

The White House first announced on Oct. 6 that a small number U.S. special operators in northeastern Syria would withdraw ahead of Turkey's invasion of Kurdish-held territory, but the Turkish military operation proved to be bigger than expected.

The Turks have advanced deeper into Kurdish territory and further to the west than the U.S. government thought they would, a senior defense official told reporters on Tuesday.

On Oct. 11, U.S. troops operating near Kobane came under Turkish artillery fire. No U.S. personnel were harmed.

The incident was the first significant indicator that the Turks would operate outside the safety zone they had said they were establishing in northeast Syria, the senior defense official said.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced on Oct. 13 that most U.S. troops would withdraw from Syria to avoid being caught between the warring sides.

A small residual force is expected to remain at the Al Tanf garrison – for now.

It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.

It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.

"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.

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An Air Force Special Tactics combat controller that "delivered thousands of pounds of munition" during a close-range 2007 firefight in Afghanistan was awarded the Silver Star on Friday.

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ROCKFORD — Delta Force sniper Sgt. First Class James P. McMahon's face was so badly battered and cut, "he looked like he was wearing a fright mask" as he stood atop a downed Black Hawk helicopter and pulled free the body of a fellow soldier from the wreckage.

That's the first description of McMahon in the book by journalist Mark Bowden called "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War." It is a detailed account of the horrific Battle of the Black Sea fought in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. It claimed the lives of 18 elite American soldiers.

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The July arrests of 16 Camp Pendleton Marines in front of their 800-person battalion was unlawful and a violation of their rights, a Marine Corps judge ruled Friday.

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Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher will retire as a chief petty officer now that President Donald Trump has restored his rank.

"Before the prosecution of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward Gallagher, he had been selected for promotion to Senior Chief, awarded a Bronze Star with a "V" for valor, and assigned to an important position in the Navy as an instructor," a White House statement said.

"Though ultimately acquitted on all of the most serious charges, he was stripped of these honors as he awaited his trial and its outcome. Given his service to our Nation, a promotion back to the rank and pay grade of Chief Petty Officer is justified."

The announcement that Gallagher is once again an E-7 effectively nullifies the Navy's entire effort to prosecute Gallagher for allegedly committing war crimes. It is also the culmination of Trump's support for the SEAL throughout the legal process.

On July 2, military jurors found Gallagher not guilty of premeditated murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a wounded ISIS fighter to death and opening fire at an old man and a young girl on separate occasions during his 2017 deployment to Iraq.

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