US Special Forces in Syria and 119 other countries
On January 2, a soldier in San Diego linked to Special Forces posted on his Facebook page that he was deploying to Syria. The soldier’s Facebook page has been scrubbed, as well as almost all references to him. Still, this tantalizing piece of information startled readers, leading many to ask: does our country have troops in Syria and if so, why?
The likely presence of U.S. special forces inside Syria, a nation descending into civil war, may come as a surprise to the American public. But it’s no secret to many in Congress. According to U.S. Navy Admiral Eric Olson, outdoing chief of Special Operations Command, in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee last year said that the U.S. had special operations troops in 20 countries in the Middle East.
The Nation further reported that Colonel Tim Nye estimated in August that by the end of 2011, the U.S. would likely have special forces deployed in 120 countries. That’s a big jump from June 2010, when the Washington Post reported special operations in 70 countries.
Note: Special Operations teams are used for a variety of missions and always work in small teams. They are used for recon, hostage rescue, infiltration, killing targeted terrorists (as in the Osama bin Ladin raid), forward air control in some cases, as well as a force multiplier.
[Excerpts of East County Magazine article by Nadin Abbott]