Service & Sacrifice: In Harm’s Way in Syria

A snapshot of the burdens being shouldered by brave U.S. troops and military families around the world.

U.S. Army soldiers conduct a live fire exercise with the Syrian Defense Forces in Syria on March 25, 2022.

By Tom Sileo Published on December 2, 2022

Middle East

U.S. military personnel serving in the Middle East came under attack in Syria on the day after Thanksgiving.

By God’s grace, no American troops were injured when two rockets “were fired at the base in al-Shaddadi, Syria, at 10:31 p.m. local time, while a third unfired rocket was found at the rockets’ origin site,” The Hill reports.

The U.S. military was quick to condemn the assault.

“Attacks of this kind place coalition forces and the civilian populace at risk and undermine the hard-earned stability and security of Syria and the region,” Col. Joe Buccino said in an official U.S. military statement.

American service members are in Syria and neighboring Iraq to fight the remnants of ISIS, yet face ongoing threats from other terrorist groups. Now, a burgeoning crisis involving Turkey, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Kurdish fighters and even Russia is making the situation in the Middle East even more dangerous and complex.

“We have not seen signs of de-escalation,” a U.S. military spokesman told Voice of America this week.

VOA reports that Turkey’s ongoing attacks against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria is putting American troops in peril.

“Already, Washington’s inability to broker a lasting understanding between the SDF (Syrian Defense Forces) and Turkey has put some of the 900 U.S. troops in Syria, part of an ongoing counter-(ISIS) mission, in harm’s way when a Turkish airstrike hit within 300 meters of U.S. personnel,” the VOA report explains.

With Iran frequently attacking Kurdish territory in Iraq, where about 2,500 American troops are stationed, it is clear that our deployed military warriors need our constant prayers. Please ask God to keep them safe during this Christmas season.

Europe

More than 100,000 U.S. military service members are stationed throughout Europe as Russia’s war in Ukraine continues. The embedded images below show a recent joint training exercise held in Poland.

About 20,000 U.S. military personnel were rapidly deployed to Eastern Europe earlier this year in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. A recent survey conducted by the USO, however, found that few Americans are aware, with 62% saying “they are not knowledgeable about what U.S. military service members are doing in Eastern Europe.”

The findings are not a surprise considering that much of the media has shifted away from daily coverage of military matters. Yet the USO survey also found that “nearly all Americans (86%) believe it is important to support individual U.S. military service members and their families.”

The reason The Stream started running this weekly military roundup is precisely because most Americans do want to know what their heroes are doing overseas. We will continue to relay these reports while always encouraging Stream readers to keep praying for our deployed service members and all military families.

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Coming Home

A group of soldiers from the Kentucky National Guard recently returned from a deployment to Kosovo, where about 600 American troops are stationed as part of an international peacekeeping force.

Military Homecoming KY

Kentucky Army National Guard soldiers are greeted by friends and family at the Bluegrass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky, as they arrive home from their deployment to Kosovo on November 17, 2022.

Welcome home, heroes! We hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year with your loved ones.

 

Tom Sileo is a contributing senior editor of The Stream. He is the author of the just-released Be Bold and co-author of Three Wise MenBrothers Forever8 Seconds of Courage and Fire in My Eyes. Follow Tom on Twitter @TSileo and The Stream at @Streamdotorg.

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