The Russian Ministry of Defence (MOD) have published a series of images which appear to indicate that US Special Forces have enabled the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to advance unopposed through Daesh operational areas.
The following aerial photographs, courtesy of the Russian MOD, were taken in the period 8th to the 12th September which appear to show a significant number of American Hummer vehicles which are used by US Special Forces.
It is alleged that by moving unopposed through Daesh held areas the SDF were able to advance along the left shore of the Euphrates River towards Deir_ez_Zor. The images would appear to show clear evidence that US Special forces are located in Daesh strongholds with no evidence of any US coalition offensives to drive out the Daesh operatives. This would also suggest that the US coalition forces are able to move freely in and out of these Daesh controlled areas with no fear of attack.
The release of these images is a clear indication that as far as Moscow is concerned the gloves are now off. Whilst there is no doubt there has been extensive cooperation and back channels created, between Moscow and Washington, during ongoing operational activities inside Syria, they have grown tired of elements inside the US intelligence services who appear to be, at the very least, permitting Daesh operations to go unchecked.
What we can also say is that there is no doubt that these images are but a warning shot across the bows of Washington because Moscow will, in all likelihood, possess further and potentially more incriminating and highly damaging material. Whilst Washington will deny such claims and suggested these images are unreliable, the fallout at governmental and international levels will be significant. It is therefore imperative that the Trump administration privately addresses these and other operational issues inside Syria. otherwise the risk is yet further isolation of the US on the world stage.