US Troops Flee Syrian Town After US-Backed Rebels Threaten to Kill Them

FSA Rebels Slam US 'Crusaders,' Vow a Slaughter

A small group of US special forces troops entered the Syrian town of al-Rai, already occupied by Turkish troops and were quickly forced to flee from the city, amid vocal threats from the Free Syrian Army (FSA), accusing the US of being “crusaders” and vowing to “slaughter” them.

The FSA, of course, is the centerpiece “moderate” rebel faction of all US cheerleaders of the Syrian Civil War, and heavily backed by the US throughout the war. They are also, interestingly, Turkish-backed, and were indeed brought into this particular region with Turkey as part of the invasion.

Yet all it took was a handful of US troops, five or six according to some rebel sources, showing up to help Turkey with the planned invasion of nearby al-Bab to rile up these “moderates” into threatening to kill the US troops credibly enough that they were actually withdrawn from the area.

While a lot of the rhetoric at the rally demanding the US pullout centered on them not liking Christians and believing Americans to be “infidels,” there is speculation that a lot of the anti-US sentiment is because the US is so closely aligned with the Kurdish YPG, who both Turkey and the FSA are planning to fight.

Indeed, secondary reports indicated that Kurdish YPG forces are flying American flags over the town of Tel Abyad in an effort to try to dissuade Turkey from attacking certain targets within it. The Pentagon has warned against the practice, but while Turkey seems placated enough to work directly with the US on their assorted wars in Syria, the FSA for whatever reason will brook no cooperation, at least in between accepting huge caches of CIA-provided weapons.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.