Editor’s note: For the US to have sent in Special Forces, who are normally in an advisory role, something unforeseen is going on. The Syrian government has contacted us for our opinion on this, as to how many SF are there. No more than a dozen special forces are available for such a mission, which could only be performed with Kurdish forces making up the majority of the force.The mission is unclear and has caused concerns. Russia would have to have been informed in advance according to what we assume are tenets of the Kerry/Lavrov mutual cooperation agreement on Syria.
Our SouthFront partners, in their Syrian video of today show loyalist forces moving north for what might well be a linkup with Americans securing the dam in order to prevent ISIS from exercising a scorched earth destruction as has been seen in Raqqah and Ramadi, though this is only speculation.
Another possibility is that the US and their Kurdish allies may be seizing this vital asset as leverage for the upcoming settlement conference.
It is not inconceivable for this to be a Turkish force there to assist ISIS against Kurdish and Syrian military encroachment.
“The US troops are presently in control of the Tishrin Dam,” the Arabic service of Deutsche Welle news channel quoted Syria’s Local Coordinating Committees as saying on Friday.
This is the first US deployment of ground forces in Syria after crisis started in the country in March 2011.
The US deployment runs counter to President Obama’s repeated claims that his country would have “no boots on the ground” in Iraq and Syria.
On November 25, the Syrian Local Coordinating Committees announced that the US officers and soldiers had entered the town of Kobani and on December 22 they set up an operations room with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the town of Mesrin in the Northern part of Aleppo province in a bid to take control of Tishrin Dam.
On December 26, the SDF seized control of Tishrin Dam on the Euphrates river at the border of Raqqa and Aleppo provinces and almost a dozen villages in the nearby regions in Northern Aleppo province.
Sources also said that US warplanes staged massive strikes on ISIL targets near the Dam.