Monday, 19 December 2016

At Least 14 US Coalition Military Officers Captured by Syrian Special Forces in East Aleppo Bunker?


DAMASCUS – According to two reports coming out of Aleppo today, at least 14 US Coalition military officers were captured this morning in an East Aleppo bunker by Syrian Special Forces.

This story was quietly leaked by Voltaire.net, who announced, “The Security Council is sitting in private on Friday, December 16, 2016, at 17:00 GMT, while NATO officers were arrested this morning by the Syrian Special Forces in a bunker in East Aleppo.”

Fares Shehabi MP, a prominent Syrian Parliamentarian and head of Aleppo’s Chamber of Commerce published the names of the Coalition officers on his Facebook page on the 15th December (emphasis added):

Mutaz Kanoğlu – Turkey
David Scott Winer – USA
David Shlomo Aram – Israel
Muhamad Tamimi – Qatar
Muhamad Ahmad Assabian – Saudi
Abd-el-Menham Fahd al Harij – Saudi
Islam Salam Ezzahran Al Hajlan – Saudi
Ahmed Ben Naoufel Al Darij – Saudi
Muhamad Hassan Al Sabihi – Saudi
Hamad Fahad Al Dousri – Saudi
Amjad Qassem Al Tiraoui – Jordan
Qassem Saad Al Shamry – Saudi
Ayman Qassem Al Thahalbi – Saudi
Mohamed Ech-Chafihi El Idrissi – Moroccan


Listen to Fares Shehabi’s interview on the Sunday Wire radio show: ‘Liberation Aleppo
In addition to Voltaire.net, the other original report was provided by Damascus-based Syrian journalist Said Hilal Alcharifi. According to Alcharifi, captured “NATO” officers were from a number of member states including the US, France, Germany and Turkey, as well as Israel. Here is his statement (translated from French):

“Thanks to information received, Syrian authorities discovered the headquarters of high ranking western/NATO officers in the basement of an area in East Aleppo and have captured them alive. Some names have already been given to Syrian journalists, myself included. The nationalities are US, French, British, German, Israeli, Turkish, Saudi, Moroccan, Qatari etc. In light of their nationalities and their rank, I assure you that the Syrian government have a very important catch, which should enable them to direct negotiations with the countries that have tried to destroy them.”

Although these initial reports describe the individuals in question as “NATO” officers, it’s unlikely they would have been carrying NATO colors on a covert operation – and might be more accurately labeled as US Coalition officers. Note that early reports suggest that these are not standard ‘street rebel’ or jihadi terrorists but actual Coalition military personnel and field commanders.
http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/12/16/reports-at-least-10-nato-military-officers-captured-by-syrian-special-forces-this-morning-in-east-aleppo-bunker/

I'm looking for confirmation of this story.

The problem from a covert military point of view is that retaining NATO personnel in the Aleppo pocket, when they could have been evacuated at an earlier time, seems particularly stupid. Local commanders would simply require a satellite phone in order to receive intelligence information from their sponsors. You would also expect that the local commanders would have some ability to organise their forces without needing NATO specialists.

It seemed obvious that Aleppo encirclement was inevitable despite the fact they resisted the first SAA attempt to trap their jihadist forces. You would have thought NATO personnel would have moved out and directed the resistance from areas outside the pocket.

If true the Assad Government needs to parade these people in front of the cameras in place of making backroom deals.

Backroom deals have not closed down the logistical ratlines that have sustained this war.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, December 19th, 2016.]

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