Biting the Hand That Feeds, Syrian Rebels Turn Against US Allies in Al-Rai

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( — September 17, 2016) — The video shows a large group of Syrian fighters chanting “Crusaders! Infidels! Dogs! Get out!” as vehicles allegedly carrying US Special Forces speed away.

US Special Forces troops were sent to support Turkish ground troops in the town of al-Rai at the Syrian border with Turkey. The Turkish military last month openly crossed the Syrian border to drive away ISIS fighters in the area, however, they mainly attacking ISIS fighting Kurds along the way.

After the Free Syrian Army (FSA) seized control of the town, cleared of ISIS troops, it drove out the US Special Forces, calling them “infidels” and “crusaders.”

US soldiers were providing tactical support, coordinating the operation between the Syrian towns of Azaz and al-Rai, Reuters reports. At least two videos posted on Twitter showed aggravated fighters identified as soldiers of US backed Free Syrian Army shouting insults against Americans as they left the area in five or six off-roaders.

“We don’t want a single American fighting in Syria alongside us,” says a man in the second video. “We are Muslims, we are not infidels. Get out!”

“We and other FSA groups fighting in and around Aleppo say that we remain a free army, and refuse to fight on the side of Americans, who support the terrorist Kurdish PKK. We are halting all military activities until US troops leave the region,” one FSA fighter said in a video.

The incident highlights the problems the US has with “moderate rebels” despite investing billions dollars in their training and equipment.

Praising the overall success of Turkish forces in the area, US State Department spokesman John Kirby said the “rhetoric” used by the rebels was “not appropriate.”

Addressing the media in a press briefing in Washington, Kirby said that that is natural in the “Muslim world.”

“We’ve discovered this many times in Muslim world, where the US deploys its troops, whether it’s Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Syria, it is seen as the enemy, the occupier,” he said.

The Pentagon says it has allocated 40 special operations forces combatants to participate in an operation labeled Operation Noble Lance, which supports Turkish military action on the Syrian side of the Syrian-Turkish border.