A spokesman for the military coalition against ISIS hinted today that the U.S. is still in touch with Russian forces operating in the same space, days after Russia cut off those communications amid rising tensions.
Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, gave those clues in a livestreamed briefing June 23 after reporters pressed him about the status of the so-called “deconfliction line,” a communications link between the U.S. and Russian commands that could reduce the risk of a military incident between the world powers.
“If we know through the deconfliction line that there are going to be strikes and our forces are not in the area, that’s how we want things to be,” he said. “It remains open and we’re not going to discuss every detail.”
Tensions have run high since the U.S. helped stand up a coalition garrison at At Tanf near the Syria-Iraq border, a key supply corridor that the Iranian and Syrian governments seem intent on securing.
Pro-Syrian regime forces, which are supported by Russia, tried to repeatedly enter the deconfliction zone surrounding the base, triggering retaliatory U.S. strikes against Syrian drones, Task & Purpose reported earlier this week.
After a Navy F-18 shot down a Syrian SU-22 on June 18 for attacking U.S.-backed rebels, Russia declared that it was done coordinating its military’s moves in Syria with U.S. forces.
Earlier today, Russian Navy frigates launched six cruise missiles at Islamic State targets in Syria northeast of Homs, according to the U.S. News & World Report.
When asked by reporters whether the U.S. was notified ahead of the cruise missile strikes, Dillon said, “If they have missiles entering our airspace, that is why the deconfliction line exists. It is open and it is in use.”
He added, “As long as we can deconflict and focus on what we’re there to do without having any strategic mishaps … we’re perfectly happy with that.”
When asked about Syrian regime forces and Iranian-backed militias who, like the U.S.-led coalition, were advancing on Islamic State-held territory, Dillon responded: “We’re here to fight ISIS, and if others want to fight ISIS to defeat them, we have no problem with that.”
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."