Middle East News

US military vehicles pictured in Syria – near the Turkish border?

Journalists and activists posted imagery of US Stryker armoured vehicles in northern Syria on Friday, April 28, claiming they were near the Turkish border

UPDATE: April 29, 12:42 GMT

A CJTF-OIR spokesperson tells Grasswire that coalition forces are at the Syria-Turkey border.

Coalition forces are conducting joint patrols along the northeastern Syria-Turkey border to assess reports from both the SDF and Turkey regarding skirmishes and cross-border fires between their respective security forces.

The patrols’ purpose is to discourage escalation and violence between two of our most trusted partners in the fight to defeat ISIS and reinforce the Coalition’s commitment to both Turkey and the SDF.

We call on all parties in the region to remain focused on the fight to defeat ISIS, which is the greatest threat to regional and worldwide peace and security.

Coalition spokesperson

Journalists and activists posted images and video of US Stryker armoured vehicles in northern Syria on Friday, April 28, claiming they were near the border with Turkey.

Pentagon spokesperson Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said in a briefing Friday that “The border is among the areas where they operate.”

“Our Syrian Democratic Forces partners that we work with, we operate with them and operate in close proximity. We have US forces that are there throughout the entirety of northern Syria that operate with our Syrian Democratic Forces partners,” Davis said.

Most activists are saying the vehicles are near Darbasiyah (Dirbêsiyê in Kurdish), while others say Tell Abyad (Girê Spî in Kurdish), Ras Al-Ayn (Serêkaniyê in Kurdish) and Qamishli (Qamişlo is Kurdish).

D Abdulkarim Omar, Co-Chair of Foreign Affairs of the Al Jazeera Canton, tweeted: “A delegation of international coalition leaders visited the region of Darbasiyya. They were briefed on the areas bombed by the Turkish army”

This was apparently confirmed by Shervan Derwish, spokesperson for Manbij Military Council, who previously was spokesperson for the SDF.

Derwish told Reuters that US forces were to begin monitoring activity on the Syria-Turkey border and report to senior US commanders. He said the SDF met with US military officials in Darbasiyah on Friday and the officials toured the town.

Grasswire has contacted the Coalition for comment.

The vehicles

We know that Stryker vehicles crewed us US Army Rangers are in northern Syria, but they’ve previously only been seen near Manbij, west of the Euphrates. Activists are claiming that the new imagery is from east of the river, in the area where the Turkish military and the YPG have been exchanging fire for the past couple of days.

Previous imagery of the Strykers shows them painted green. The vehicles in the imagery from April 28 look to have been recently painted.

An apparent US Stryker armoured vehicle with a minigun on the roof and a Javelin Anti-Tank Guided Missile strapped to the side, northern Syria, April 28, 2017. Image: Grasswire/Dr_Partizan/Twitter

In one image, a manually controlled Minigun is mounted on the roof of a Stryker. This is a very unusual weapon to be mounted on this vehicle type. Strykers commonly use machine guns or grenade launchers on remote weapons stations, where the gun can be operated from inside the vehicle. This appears to be an on-the-fly addition, although in-theatre modifications aren’t unusual.

A Javelin Anti-Tank Guided Missile is also strapped to the side of the vehicle.

We have say thanks to Abraxas Spa who first pointed out the unusual weaponry.

There is not enough unique visual data that we can find to geo-locate the imagery yet.

[Story developing]

YouTube video from Turkey-based Qasioun News Agency, but no location given:

US Marine Corps vehicles also filmed

Other video was shared on Twitter purporting to be of French forces in northern Syria. This looks to us like a US Marine Corps convoy.


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