Reprinted from RT
In short, the US Special Forces are being used as "human shields" to curb Russian air strikes against anti-government mercenaries, many of whom are instrumental in Washington's regime-change objective in Syria.
First of all, we need to view a host of developments, including the hastily convened "peace talks" in Vienna, as a response by the US and its allies to the game-changing military intervention by Russia. That intervention, beginning on September 30, has not only dealt massive blows to militants, it has completely changed the balance of forces to give the Assad government the upper hand in the war against foreign-backed extremists. That, in turn, has sent the US-led powers trying to topple Damascus into disarray.
Recall the scattered reactions from Washington and its allies, including Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. At first, Washington tried to rubbish Vladimir Putin's order to aid his Syrian ally with airstrikes as "doomed to fail."
Then there were overblown, unverified, claims of civilian casualties from Russian strikes, plus there were American claims that Russian cruise missiles had gone wildly astray, hitting Iran. There was also much angst over Russia striking "moderate rebels" instead of the Islamic State terror network. All such accusations, encouraged with Western media amplification, were designed to undermine Russia's military operation.
Then there were threats from Saudi Arabia and Qatar that they would launch direct military action in Syria to "protect" the populace from the joint firepower of Assad and Putin. That idea was quickly shelved (one wonders by whom?).
Another seeming knee-jerk response came from Turkey and rightwing politicians and pundits in the US which revived talks about the creation of "safe havens" in northern Syria, ostensibly to protect civilian refugees, but also tacitly and more importantly, to give cover to "rebel" groups from Russian air strikes and Syrian government ground troops.
None of these reactions have gained credibility despite Western media hype. On the contrary, it soon became clear that Russia's military intervention in Syria was a master-stroke by Putin, wiping out large swathes of the anti-government mercenaries, stabilizing the Assad government, and winning much popular support both within Syria and across the Middle East, and indeed around the world.
Last week, America's top military official, General Joseph F Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate committee that Russia's air support had changed everything. "The balance of forces right now are in Assad's advantage," he said.
This is the context in which to interpret the latest, surprise move by Obama to send Special Forces into Syria. It is more about inhibiting Russian success in destroying the sundry anti-regime forces on the ground than about either "helping the fight against Islamic State" as claimed, or about misgivings of a large-scale American invasion.
The troop contingent that Obama has ordered amounts to 50 Special Forces personnel. That is hardly going to be a decisive blow to Islamic State militants, even if we believe the official rationale for their deployment.
The White House, in its announcement, was at pains to emphasize that the troops would not be in a combat role and would only be acting to "advise and train" Kurdish fighters and others belonging to the little-known Syrian Arab Coalition.
But here is perhaps the significant part of the story. "The move could potentially put the American troops in the cross hairs of Russia," reports the New York Times. Significantly, too, the Pentagon will not be informing the Russian military of the exact whereabouts of its ground personnel.
That suggests that the real purpose for Obama sending in the troops is to restrict Russian offensive operations by introducing the risk of bombing American forces. In effect, the US Special Forces are being used as human shields to protect American regime-change assets on the ground.
These assets include an array of jihadist mercenary brigades, which the US and its allies have invested billions of dollars in for the objective of regime change in Syria. The misnomer of "moderate rebels" belies abundant evidence that the mercenaries include Al Qaeda-linked terror groups, including Islamic State. CIA supplies of anti-tank TOW missiles as well as Toyota jeeps are just a glimpse of the foreign covert-sponsorship.