Syria, attack against al Qaeda in Idlib: 13 dead (6 children). The Pentagon: “A success”

from Guido Olimpio

A US special forces incursion, with helicopters and bombings, would have involved “a high-value target” of the Hurras al Din faction. But there are doubts about the US reconstruction

A foray of the US special forces in northern Syria, a massive operation against al Qaeda officials but which led to the death of 13 people. Between them six minors and four women. However, the Pentagon has talked about success. The assault began in the night with the use of helicopters. US commandos surrounded a house in the town of Atmeh, in the Idlib region, known for the presence of jihadists. The military called on people barricaded in a house to surrender but, after a couple of hours, those inside would open fire using rifles and grenade launchers. The battle continued intense and ended with an explosion that devastated the building. There were excited phases, with a helicopter forced to make an emergency landing. The aircraft – according to the New York Times – it had a breakdown and they were forced to destroy it on the ground. A narrative that could, however, hide another thesis, that of damage suffered by the enemy’s shots.

Nor is it excluded that there was an aviation intervention, with a consequent bombing. Although the Pentagon has denied that the blast that leveled the house is attributable to the raid. It is the fog of war, where everyone tries to create a screen. It will take some time to have a more precise reconstruction. The action, considered the most extensive after the one that led to the elimination of the Caliph al Baghdadi, would have involved a high-value target, an unidentified terrorist, probably linked to the Qaedist faction Hurras al Din, a small but tenacious component based in Syrian territory. An expert, Charles Lister, citing local sources, speculated that the target of the blitz was Sami al Oraydi, leader of the group. Furthermore, extremist circles have accused rivals of the HTS movement (formerly al Qaeda) of having favored the blitz, a charge not new in a reality where the United States has often struck by decimating al Hurras. In recent months, there have been frequent rumors of the arrival of prominent personalities, including Seif el Adel, one of the great fugitives.

Confused news, never confirmed, perhaps simple hypotheses. In the past there have been attacks entrusted to drones, with the use of special weapons – such as ninja missiles – to reduce “collateral damage” and Osama’s men were always in the sights. The decision to rely on a team of Special Forces, with all the risks that the choice entails, was perhaps linked to the need to capture someone and not eliminate him.

The high number of civilians killed – including children – brings to mind what happened in Kabul after the massacre of the airport carried out by the Islamic State. An American raid annihilated an Afghan family, a tragic mistake: they thought they had identified the terrorist cell involved in the attack and instead they were simple inhabitants. The high price of any conflict.


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