Trump Administration Stops Disclosing Iraq And Syria Troop Deployments In Bid To "Surprise" ISIS

Tyler Durden's picture

The Trump administration has stopped disclosing material information about the size and nature of the U.S. commitment to military action in Iraq and Syria, including the number of U.S. troops deployed in either country, in a bid to "surprise" the Islamic State with the number of US troops in the region the LA Times reports.

Earlier this month, the Pentagon quietly dispatched 400 Marines to northern Syria to operate artillery in support of Syrian militias that are cooperating in the fight against Islamic State, according to U.S. officials. That was the first use of U.S. Marines in that country since its long civil war began. In Iraq, nearly 300 Army paratroopers were deployed recently to help the Iraqi military in their six-month assault on the city of Mosul, according to U.S. officials.

The decision appears to be making good on Trump’s promise as a candidate to insist on more of an “element of surprise” in battle tactics.


“In order to maintain tactical surprise, ensure operational security and force protection, the coalition will not routinely announce or confirm information about the capabilities, force numbers, locations, or movement of forces in or out of Iraq and Syria,” said Eric Pahon, a Pentagon spokesman.

While neither of those deployments were officially announced prior to their implementation, Gen. Joseph Votel, the top US commander in the Middle East did acknowledge the additional troop presence in Syria to the House Armed Services committee on Wednesday.

“They have deployed,” Votel said, adding that there were likely more troops headed for deployment. “We have recognized that as we continue to pursue our military objectives in Syria, we are going to need more direct all-weather fire support capability for our Syrian Democratic Force partners,” Votel told the committee. “We have not taken our eye off what our principle mission is, which is to advise and assist and enable our partners... Help our partners fight, but not fight for them.”

A representative of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) confirmed that “routine” troop deployment announcements will stop under Donald Trump as US forces want the Islamic State terrorists to be the “first to know about any additional capabilities the Coalition or our partner forces may present them on the battlefield.

Under the Obama administration, Pentagon policy was to announce conventional deployments after they occurred. That administration even took the unusual step of revealing in 2015 that 200 special operations forces — whose missions often are classified — had been sent to Syria. That’s now changed, according to Pentagon officials.

“The coalition commander’s intent is that ISIS be first to know about any additional capabilities the coalition or our partner forces may present them on the battlefield,” Pahon said, using an acronym for Islamic State.

Ned Price, National Security Council spokesman under President Barack Obama, criticized the new approach of Trump's administration not to share such crucial details with Americans. “The position of the Obama administration was that the American people had a right to know if servicemen and women were in harm’s way,” Price told the LA Times. “It’s truly shocking that the current administration furtively deploys troops without public debate or describing their larger strategy.”

Currently 5,262 US troops are authorized to be in Iraq, a US military official told the Military Times last Thursday. Another 503 are authorized to be in Syria by Washington. What makes the deployment complicated is that such an authorization has not been granted by the capital Damascus, which considers the US presence an illegal invasion. The US officials further noted that the real numbers may be way larger as those figures fail to reflect those servicemen who are sent to Iraq and Syria on so-called temporary “non-enduring” missions. There are roughly 1,000 US special operations forces, Marines and Army Rangers in Northern Syria today – and that number might soon grow even larger.

Commenting on a Fox News report that the Pentagon is sending two units – comprising 200 to 300 soldiers in total – from the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team (2nd BCT) to Iraq, Pahon told the Military Times, that there was no plan to announce the temporary deployment because it will last less 120 days and will not count against the authorized number of American troops in the country.

* * *

Meanwhile Operation Inherent Resolve has released its latest Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) Monthly Civilian Casualty Report, which admitted 9 additional civilian deaths caused by the US-led coalition – five in 2017 and four more from 2015. The Pentagon has reported receiving 41 new reports of possible civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria during the month of February 2017. The report said the coalition completed the assessment on 17 reports, while a total of 43 inquiries are still open and are being probed.

Out of 17 assessed reports, the coalition dismissed twelve as “non-credible” while five were assessed to be “credible.”

Despite numerous human rights organizations’ reports of the mounting civilian death toll in Mosul, Iraq, the US-led coalition claimed it received only 15 credible reports of incidents in which civilians were killed by the time US-coordinated Iraqi forces who freed Eastern Mosul in February.

“In Mosul, Iraq, since the start of operations to liberate the city on Oct. 17, 2016, to the liberation of the East side of Mosul on Feb. 18, 2017, the total number of reports of possible civilian casualties was 37. The total number of credible reports during this time period was 15,” the US-led coalition said, without specifying how many civilians were killed in these incidents.

The Pentagon said that in total from August 2014 to February 2017, the coalition conducted a total of 18,645 strikes that included 42,089 separate engagements accidentally killing 229 civilians. Meanwhile, rights groups and activists such as the UK-based monitoring group Airwars, believe the number could be more than 10 times higher.

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DingleBarryObummer's picture

Why don't you "surprise" me and let Russia and Iran handle it.  They are fully capable and willing.

Stop feeding the beast.

TwelveOhOne's picture

"Remember when I said I kill you last?  I lied."

CuttingEdge's picture

"The coalition conducted a total of 18,645 strikes that included 42,089 separate engagements accidentally killing 229 civilians."


Truther's picture

War is a racket...  And the CIA/Mossad make sure of it.

limpinalien69's picture

Every American president in recent history has to been fighting some kind of war. Trump is no different. 


When your on Israel's leash, you can't expect anything less.

Sages wife's picture

Thank God for the UN. Truly Orwellian.

hedgeless_horseman's picture


I am sure glad those brave US soldiers are defending America, after all the Iraqis and Syrians did to us Americans.

By the way, does anybody know what, exactly, the Iraqis and Syrians did to cause us to invade their home and kill them?


I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

-Major General Smedley Butler, USMC,
Two-Time Congressional Medal of Honor Winner
Author of, War is a Racket!

BaBaBouy's picture

Surprise Surprise ~ MIC MiKkain Wins Again ...

CHA---CHING $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$'!

Chupacabra-322's picture

Are the Pure Evil Criminal Psychopaths at the CIA & State Dept. still arming, funding & training Alqueda / Al CIA duh / ISIS / I CIA SIS terror Organizations?

Or has the War Criminal "Policy" changed.

Ignatius's picture

Right, by camouflaging our troop movements we'll be able to sneak up on ourselves, I mean ISIS, which is truly revolutionary military thinking.  I'm hopeful now.

Four chan's picture

...jew media does its best to disclose every movement.

because if you aren't a soldier dead in a box you are an anti semite.

sarz's picture

Maybe the main pure evil criminal psychopath is in the White House. I think we've been had. We thought putting America first meant taking on the Tribe. That was the dog-whistle I picked up. But that's not where he's headed. The Wall Street mega-Jews are back at the front of the trough, and this aggressive middle-east policy is for the benefit of Israel and the globalists. Otherwise, why put yourself with the Saudis and their repellent associates against Iran and Hezbollah and the Syrians? Does this asshole think he can outplay the Russians and the Chinese? For the Jews? The West has supplied Israel its nuclear force and delivery mechanisms such as the nuclear cruise missile submarines. If Trump goes too far, Russia and the Shanghai group can give the Iranis nukes and the means to reach them to Tel Aviv and New York. Why wouldn't they? 


GreatUncle's picture

Base your economy on a war machine you need more wars to achieve growth.


War Machine's picture

A big part of it, but so are gas pipelines, and most of all, Greater Israel.

Isis is obviously a US/Israeli/Saudi proxy, although its also an excuse to send troops somewhere you want to be anyway.

This isnt to surprise 'isis' at all but to obfuscate just how many troops are there and why.

Short version: peel NE Syria off from Damascus, using the Kurds, which invites the Turks to grab more in NW Syria, while Israel grabs more of Golan and its iil/gas minerals.

After US goyim block easy travel between Iran and Syria/Lebanon,
look for a pretext for what will be a *massive* Israeli attack on Lebanon.

Then Trump, another puppet, is tasked by Netwnywhu/Adelson/Kushner to attack Iran. Simple decap and regime change won't do- the Likudniks demand that Iran be destroyed as any kind of military or, and this is overlooked - commercial rival. Oil and gas that competes with Leviathan/Golan but also technology wise.

One need only read some of the many calls by Zionist Jewry to destroy Syria and Iraq to understand that ISIS is a proxy which will be mopped up, at great cost to civilian life, at will.

The Iran nuke issue is bullshit, of course. ZH seems to adhere to it though, even while it defies the neocon narratives on Russia and Syria.

Trump is continuing the wars for Israel that Bush's admin started.

This should be obvious, as his reliance on Goldman alum should also disillusion Trump voters.

Also- stop describing the war in Syraq as a 'civil war,' Tyler.

It makes you look like an asshole.

Smedley's picture

R's or D's, the result is the same now, expend treasure and lives for the Goldmanites ME sad.

It's where empires go to die...



CheapBastard's picture

It's now up to Obama and McStain to leak top secret info to isis.

Got The Wrong No's picture

Ned Price, National Security Council spokesman under President Barack Obama, criticized the new approach of Trump's administration not to share such crucial details with Americans. “The position of the Obama administration was that the American people had a right to know if servicemen and women were in harm’s way,” Price told the LA Times. “It’s truly shocking that the current administration furtively deploys troops without public debate or describing their larger strategy.”


I must be getting old, I don't remember any public debate or description of a larger strategy from the Obama Administration. Memory lose is a bitch.

hedgeless_horseman's picture


I don't remember any public debate



 Just take 5 minutes to learn exactly how the American educational establishment is teaching us to debate with each other:


All I seem to recalll is some news headline saying something about Obama's being the most transparent administration ever.


  • Media: Robert Gore, Breaking alternative media's dependency on the MSM


We'll need to check our grand kids' history books for details.


  • Education: Russell Fish, Disintermediated education in your home and community
Got The Wrong No's picture

What the fuck does any of that have to do with my comment??? Thank's for wasting my time. 

hedgeless_horseman's picture


A little bit of reading comprehension, critical thinking, and possibly sobriety will answer your question of relevance. 

Got The Wrong No's picture

Bullshit, You post a video of black girls debating like baboons and one on the ZH symposium. Neither one has anything to do with an open debate by the Obama administration on Iraq. Then you want to insult my intelligence. In your world of irrational thinking, (2 eggs + 1 Turkey = Dog) No amount of critical thinking or sobriety will ever make that work out. Thumbs up for being a Condescending Prick 

silvercity's picture

Israel is on the USA's leash, not the other way around. The USA fighting ME wars benefits US corporations and banks and consolidates US military power. When or if it becomes in the interest of the USA to destroy Israel; the US will not hesitate one minute. Anyone who believes that Israel is more powerful than the USA does not know how to think. If some things that the USA does benefits Israel that's fine. Some things that the USA does also benefits Canada, or Europe, or Japan. That is how a world empire works. Please stop the Jew hatred. It is childish. The world political and economic systems are run under Satan's control. Do Jews cooperate with Satan? Yes. But so do Christians and Buddists and Hindis and Muslems and Mormans and Pagans and Wiccans and Atheists. The great power in the world today is the USA operating by Satan's system. In the past the great powers have been USSR, Great Britian Napoleon, ect. It is always the same and that is why some can escape when the one great power dies in order to transition to the next great power. But people who believe it is the Jews forever have no hope of escape, just a mantra,"kill the Jews" which will not change anything.

Friedrich not Salma's picture

GOto youtube and search for

Netanyahu congress 2015

After you hear the 5 minutes of applause by your "elected" reps when Netanyahu enters the room, tell me he doesn't control everything.

silvercity's picture

So, I guess that you believe that Israel could declare war on the USA and destroy the US military. I guess you believe that the President and Congress just quake in their boots at the thought that Netanyahu might be angry with them. It is Israel that pays tribute to US polititians with their lobby(bribes). Just because he and his bribes are popular does not mean he is in charge. Why is the cart before the horse now considered the correct logical way?The 38 billion in military aid is welfare for the US MIC and just how an empire works.

TheReplacement's picture

So we got into over 42,000 fights but only fired back 18,000 times....


GreatUncle's picture

If you mean the 229, statistically that is way too low.


user2011's picture

Our ally isis are losing members to Russian air strikes.   We need to replenish their supplies and strength and back them up and nurture them back to health.   So, we will send more troops to help protect our allies.   Just don't want to let the world to know how many guards we are sending out.

researchfix's picture

Don´t forget the body bags. Not possible to read your sleeve from 5000 m above, sorry.

chubbar's picture

If they are hiding troop deployments it's because they want to hide it from the american people, not ISIS. Trump ran on getting us out of wars, not into them. We have no business in Syria and Russia is already handling that problem. The US is there to destroy Assads infrastructure and attempting to divide the country, which is why the talk of "safe" zones.

I'm not convinced that Trump is driving this bus, I think the cunts at the CIA and pentagon are warmongers and intent on fucking up the entire middle east for the benefit of Israel.

Kaeako's picture

Like it or not coalition involvement will end up shaving years from the conflict. Before the Russian intervention ISIS was threatening Damascus itself and even after the Russian intervention it managed to recapture Palmyra while under heavy pressure on every other front. Syria and its Russian and Iranian allies have their hands full with the rebels in the west and without coalition involvement would be in no position to advance against ISIS on any front.

TheReplacement's picture

If the CIA and it's Israeli and Sunni allies would stop funnelling weapons, training, intel, and fighters to ISIS the fight would be over in a week without any Coalition involvement at all.

Chupacabra-322's picture

@ The,

You answered my question from the post above.

Stan522's picture

It's either Sunni, or Shia.....

After HATING Kafir's (non-believer's) they hate each other. There is nothing we can fix there to stop this HATE of us, or themselves. HOWEVER, we can stop arming and training one side only for them to turn back on us like al qeada and ISIS have done.

TheReplacement's picture

We could give both sides short range nuclear missiles that are pretargeted at their opposite number and let them do the rest.  I'm pretty sure that when everyone is dead there will be no more fighting between the two.

GreatUncle's picture

TBH know a few Shia muslims, they call the Sunni the "black hearts".

These are the wahabbi and radicals.

Got to be about right if those closer to them than me say this.


sarz's picture

That is really some ignorant shit. Khomeini's movement was a Muslim revolution, not a Shia one. A main tenet was that Shias should not hesitate to be led in prayers by a Sunni imam. It's America that went out of its way to create a divide where there was a difference, by its conscious creation of death squads on either side, and walled-up sanctuaries. 

TheReplacement's picture

But we have to establish illegal safe zones from where the terrorists will face no danger from Syria, Russia, or Iran.  It's called fighting terrorism.  Duh.




OpTwoMistic's picture

Why are we there? This is not defending US borders.

I wonder if Trump is really in charge. He is CIC.

Got The Wrong No's picture

Trump said he was going after ISIS and hopefully is. Obama said he was going after ISIS but wasn't. Don't forget those US borders around Israel. 

DrunkenMonkey's picture

Comb-over In Chief. That's your CIC right there.

The Ram's picture

I am afraid you are correct DM!  When first elected, I actually thought Trump may be able to change the foreign policy direction of the US.  Silly me.  I think in so many words, Trump has been told by the deep state to stand down, shut-up, and just 'act' Presidential.   Pretty much the same as Obama.  In the interim, the zeocons will run the show in the ME and eastern europe, slowly infiltrating more US forces.  Let's see how the chessboard looks in a year or so.  The Russian, Chinese, Iranians must decide what degree of encirclement they are willing to tolerate.  

Yukon Cornholius's picture

Fuck you Assad! Fuck you, Iran! The white knights have arrived and only the virgin daughters will be spared.

What a fuckin joke.

Truther's picture

Actually, fuck the Neocons and The Rothschilds that want nothing but to eradicate you and any other human on this earth. Remember Kissinger, all soldiers on the line are dumb idiots we kill for our benefit... Learn some history dumb ass.

surrational's picture

Think he was being sarcastic.

Mr. Universe's picture

...Learn to detect sarcasm dumb ass.

CoonT's picture

Interesting.  Is this how they ramp up involvement? All right under the noses, and "at the explicit request of" the voters?


Funny- When Bush and "the right" were FORWAR, the left were against it. Once Obama took office, the left were tripping over themselves, in a bid to "out-Bush" Bush (ala 'Bombs away!). Now that the right have regained power, "we" are  FORWAR again, while the progressives are embracing anti-progressive Islam, ...../........./.......

Meh. I just stopped caring.


We are all pigeons, playing checkers on a 3-D chesssboard, me thinks.

TheReplacement's picture

Sorry to be the one to break it to you but we aren't even regarded as checkers or pawns.  We are simply the dirt under the tracks of the machine.  Sometimes it turns this way and other that way.  Either way we get ground down to nothing.

Mr. Universe's picture

Wow are you right. We get so self involved we actualy think we are needed, while not in charge , at least useful cogs in the machine. Instead we are the grease that lubricates the cogs.