But there is very little doubt that the US illegitimately occupies part of Syria's territory and conducts a favorite business of training terrorists.
BEIRUT (AP) — A strike Thursday by a suspected Iranian-made drone killed a U.S. contractor and wounded six other Americans in northeast Syria, and U.S. forces retaliated with airstrikes on sites in Syria used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, the Pentagon said. Activists said the U.S. bombing killed at least four people. While it’s not the first time the U.S. and Iran have traded strikes in Syria, the attack and the U.S. response threaten to upend recent efforts to deescalate tensions across the wider Middle East, whose rival powers have made steps toward détente in recent days after years of turmoil. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement that the American intelligence community had determined the drone was of Iranian origin, but offered no other immediate evidence to support the claim. The drone hit a coalition base in the northeast Syrian city of Hasaka. The wounded included five American service members and a U.S. contractor.
I don't know who sent the "message", but this event is a great testament to a military fallacy of the American bases around the world, because not only they will continue to lose the "power projection" value but will continue to increase their value as fat and mostly indefensible targets against modern battlefield delivery systems. Nobody in their own mind would believe that US air defense systems such as Patriot PAC3 can handle a serious salvo of even relatively unsophisticated subsonic means of delivery.
Meanwhile butt-hurt BSer Sebastien Roblin "reports" based on propaganda doctored "data" from 404 that Russia... finally ran out of tanks and reactivated T-54/55 ones.
What uneducated hack Roblin doesn't know, because with degree in "conflict resolution" and "social and global studies" you can not know anything of value, is that Russia was using older T-54/55 since War in Chechnya not for tank operations but as a very helpful artillery units for... drum roll... block posts, thus increasing their combat stability and as a good caliber response in case of attacks on numerous block posts. Generally Western pseudo-academic fields in "strategic studies", "conflict resolution" or "foreign relations" produce unemployable office plankton with minimal skills even for 7/11 janitor, but when you are also getting paid by Ukies, what kind of "reporting" one provides becomes abundantly clear. In general, SMO exposed all, without exception, US MSM and popular "alternative" media as uneducated hacks and unprofessional losers, including a large portion of the US "military experts" with hefty C.V.s in "fighting" in Iraq and Afghanistan, but with minimal expertise in modern wars and combined arms operations of scale.
But that brings us to issue of military education in the US and the new crop of America's present and future military leaders. I wrote about it before and quoted Tim Bakken:
Academic standards are also nonexistent. I believe this trend started approximately ten years ago, and it has continued to get worse. West Point has stated standards for academic expectations and performance, but they are ignored. Cadets routinely fail multiple classes and they are not separated at the end-of-semester Academic Boards. Their professors recommend “Definitely Separate,” but those recommendations are totally disregarded. I recently taught a cadet who failed four classes in one semester (including mine), in addition to several she had failed in previous semesters, and she was retained at the Academy. As a result, professors have lost hope and faith in the entire Academic Board process. It has been made clear that cadets can fail a multitude of classes and they will not be separated. Instead, when they fail (and they do to a staggering extent), the Dean simply throws them back into the mix and expects the faculty to somehow drag them through the academic program until they manage to earn a passing grade.
And this is one of very many testimonies of a collapse of professional military education in the US.
In related news, I spoke today with Vera and famous Russian REAL war reporter Marat Khairullin--the rough estimate of just wounded in and around Bakhmut is roughly 20,000. As Marat says, who spends most of his days at the front line and communicates with serious tactical and operational level officers, they all are unanimous--combat medicine in VSU ceased to exist several months ago, and just inside Bakhmut today there are more than 2,000 wounded who still cannot get even stabilization procedures. That means they will be dead in a day or two. Reality of the 404 "offensive" is absolutely not what is being portrayed by Western media. This is not from some shitty TG channels, this is from people of repute and first hand operational (forget tactical) knowledge of the combat zone. Yes, Marat is a constant presence, from the front lines, on Russian major TV networks. So, here is your SitRep of sorts for Friday.