Mortar rounds coming out of Syria have been shelling US and Iraqi troops with the instances of attack increasing in the past few days. The Syrian government doesn't seem to be doing anything about it. Donald Rumsfeld said the Syrians were "unhelpful" and accused them of "facilitating terrorists moving back and forth, money moving back and forth" to Iraq after a U.S. delegation visited Syria last month.
American troops stationed along Iraq's border with Syria are coming under increasing mortar attack from shells fired from Syrian territory, but it's unclear who's responsible, U.S. officers said Thursday.
The 82 mm mortar rounds have been fired at U.S. and Iraqi positions in and around Husaybah in the far west of Iraq's Anbar province, said Lt. Col. Chris Woodbridge, commander of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment.
"Who exactly is firing these mortars, we do not know. But what we do know is that the point of origin of these rounds is on the Syrian side of the border," said Woodbridge, 39, of Brooklyn.
There has been no evidence linking the Syrian military to the attacks, he said. However, the Syrian military has the capability to determine who is launching the mortars and act against them, Woodbridge said.
"Syrian authorities should be the ones to go after them, no question about it," he said.
The number of cross-border mortar attacks has increased in recent weeks with the latest coming Tuesday night, Woodbridge said. In one night alone, five mortar rounds landed near U.S. troops in Husaybah, he said.
What to do? What to do? Syria is really putting a big bullseye on itself. No doubt a lot of this grandstanding by states such as Iran, North Korea and Syria is because they think the US military is too spread out to really do anything about it. That's short-term thinking of course. Down the road things are going to turn and they are going to be holding the short end of the stick.
Hat tip: The Command Post