After early this week American forces hastily abandoned their base in Manbij amid a general US draw down from the region, and a Damascus-Syrian Kurdish deal for reunion to fight the invading Turks, hawkish CNN pundit Michael Weiss lamented that "the Russian takeover of the U.S. base in Manbij is the first instance of Moscow claiming an abandoned U.S. military installation since World War II" (though Vietnam may have actually been the last instance).
The Russians did immediately roll in to Manbij, surprisingly in some degree of coordination with the Pentagon. A US defense official admitted, "It is essentially a handover" and added, "it’s a quick out, not something that will include walk-throughs, etc. Everything is about making out with as much as possible of our things while destroying any sensitive equipment that cannot be moved."
Subsequently a Russian film crew accessed the hastily abandoned base, and on Tuesday posted the full video exploring the now vacant secretive US special forces facility in the heart of northern Syria.
Initially, not even the locations of such classified American 'forward operating bases' in Syria were known, but now for the first time a detailed video walk-through of the 'classified' base can be viewed.
See the full walk through of the previously 'classified' US facility in Manbij, Syria:
Russian war correspondent Oleg Blokhin was the first on the scene soon after US troops abandoning the base. He boasted: "Yesterday it was them and today it is us here."
The Daily Mail reported of some of the initial images to come out earlier this week:
A TV crew understood to be from Russia Today filmed the base, showing what the US forces had left behind, including a television, sofas and bunks with bed linen.
One mainstream US pundit described the Russian film crew on the scene as "reveling in the humiliation of US withdrawal from northern Syria".
Longer, haunting video from gonzo Russian military "journalists" strolling around hastily abandoned US military facility in #Mandij and reveling in the humiliation of US withdrawal from northern Syria https://t.co/jRLhyvLTB6 h/t @INechepurenko pic.twitter.com/4TLuU6lr4l— Andrew S. Weiss (@andrewsweiss) October 15, 2019
From the footage it appears the American forces, who for at least the past two years have been advising and assisting Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the city, left in extreme haste, given everything seems in place as personnel left it just hours prior, with the exception of sensitive intelligence files which the Pentagon said were moved or destroyed.
Russia Today has been waiting its entire 14 years of existence to troll America this hard https://t.co/NK92GjlWVc— max seddon (@maxseddon) October 16, 2019
President Trump said on Wednesday that the Syria-Turkey situation is "not our problem" anymore, and said of Russia and Syrian national forces who have already replaced American forces in Manbij and elsewhere, "I wish them all a lot of luck." .
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Meanwhile, in related news, the president slammed his hawkish Republican critics, saying of Senator Graham, “Lindsey would like to stay in the Middle East for the next 1,000 years.”
Trump tells @LindseyGrahamSC to shut up about Turkey and stay focused on investigating his conspiracies.— Anthony DeRosa🗽 (@Anthony) October 16, 2019
“Lindsey would like to stay in the Middle East for the next 1,000 years.”
“He should look at (conspiracy rant) That’s what the people of Carolina want him to focus on.”