At Least 14 US Coalition Military Officers Allegedly Captured by Syrian forces in East Aleppo Bunker

Syrian Army soldier holds up Al Nusra Front (al Qaeda in Syria) flag in the Umayyed Mosque, Old City, after government troops liberated terrorist-occupied East Aleppo this week (Image: Vanessa Beeley for 21st Century Wire)

Syrian Army soldier holds up Al Nusra Front (al Qaeda in Syria) flag in the Umayyed Mosque, Old City, after government troops liberated terrorist-occupied East Aleppo this week (Image: Vanessa Beeley for 21st Century Wire)

from 21st Century Wire

DAMASCUS – According to two reports coming out of Aleppo today, at least 14 US Coalition military officers were captured this morning in an East Aleppo bunker by Syrian Special Forces.

This story was quietly leaked by Voltaire.net, who announced, “The Security Council is sitting in private on Friday, December 16, 2016, at 17:00 GMT, while NATO officers were arrested this morning by the Syrian Special Forces in a bunker in East Aleppo.”
Fares Shehabi MP, a prominent Syrian Parliamentarian and head of Aleppo’s Chamber of Commerce published the names of the Coalition officers on his Facebook page on the 15th December (emphasis added):
Mutaz Kanoğlu – Turkey
David Scott Winer – USA
David Shlomo Aram – Israel
Muhamad Tamimi – Qatar
Muhamad Ahmad Assabian – Saudi
Abd-el-Menham Fahd al Harij – Saudi
Islam Salam Ezzahran Al Hajlan – Saudi
Ahmed Ben Naoufel Al Darij – Saudi
Muhamad Hassan Al Sabihi – Saudi
Hamad Fahad Al Dousri – Saudi
Amjad Qassem Al Tiraoui – Jordan
Qassem Saad Al Shamry – Saudi
Ayman Qassem Al Thahalbi – Saudi
Mohamed Ech-Chafihi El Idrissi – Moroccan
Listen to Fares Shehabi’s interview on the Sunday Wire radio show: ‘Liberation Aleppo‘
In addition to Voltaire.net, the other original report was provided by Damascus-based Syrian journalist Said Hilal Alcharifi. According to Alcharifi, captured “NATO” officers were from a number of member states including the US, France, Germany and Turkey, as well as Israel. Here is his statement (translated from French):

“Thanks to information received, Syrian authorities discovered the headquarters of high ranking western/NATO officers in the basement of an area in East Aleppo and have captured them alive. Some names have already been given to Syrian journalists, myself included. The nationalities are US, French, British, German, Israeli, Turkish, Saudi, Moroccan, Qatari etc. In light of their nationalities and their rank, I assure you that the Syrian government have a very important catch, which should enable them to direct negotiations with the countries that have tried to destroy them.”

Although these initial reports describe the individuals in question as “NATO” officers, it’s unlikely they would have been carrying NATO colors on a covert operation – and might be more accurately labeled as US Coalition officers. Note that early reports suggest that these are not standard ‘street rebel’ or jihadi terrorists but actual Coalition military personnel and field commanders.
21WIRE also received unconfirmed reports yesterday that militants had fired a missile into the Ramousa area and then tried, unsuccessfully, to get cars out of East Aleppo. It’s possible this incident could be related to today reports of captured western operatives.
This report from the Syrian Arab News Agency (emphasis added):

“The agreement on evacuating militants and weapons from the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city has been suspended after terrorist groups breached it, special sources told SANA correspondent in Aleppo.
The sources said that the suspension of the agreement will remain in place until obtaining guarantees that oblige the terrorist groups to abide by all the agreement’s provisions, stressing on the Syrian side’s full adherence to the agreement and its keenness to end the bloodshed and restore security and stability to the entire city of Aleppo.”
Earlier, SANA reporter said that the terrorist groups have breached the agreement as they smuggled heavy weapons, including TOW missiles, heavy machineguns and kidnapped people via the buses and cars transporting terrorists and their families towards the southwestern countryside of Aleppo city.
The reporter added that the terrorist groups fired shells and sniper bullets on the buses and ambulances at al-Ramousseh crossing, noting that the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) which are supervising the evacuation process had to withdraw all buses and cars from the crossing.

Over the past 24 hours, some 8079 terrorists and members of their families were evacuated via busses and ambulances from the neighborhoods of Salah-Eddin, al-Ansari, al-Mashhad and al-Zibdiyeh to the southwest countryside of Aleppo city”

If true, this latest news would also mean that both the Syrian and Russian governments would have additional leverage going forward in any bilateral negotiations with the US-led Coalition.
If, however, this story is kept under wraps by NATO member governments and summarily blacked out by the US and European media outlets, then it might indicate that a deal has been struck, albeit behind the scenes, for the return of captured NATO operatives in exchange for other concessions.
If today’s report from East Aleppo is accurate, this might also help explain the hysterical behavior by the US State Department and western UN officials who have been demanding “an immediate ceasefire” – despite the fact that 99% of East Aleppo has already been liberated by Syrian government forces.
The western establishment hysterical reactions to Al Nusra’s defeat in Aleppo have included wild claims that the Syrian Army had ‘unleashed death squads,’ on its own residents in East Aleppo and were openly ‘executing women and children in the street,’ and ‘burning children in the street,’ as well what appear to be more fictional reports circulated in US media mainly by Michael Weiss of The Daily Beast via CNN, claiming that Syrian Army was committing “mass rape” against residents of East Aleppo. His article entitled, “Women in Aleppo Choose Suicide Over Rape, Rebels Report,“ made a number of outlandish claims including:

Activists and rebels in the besieged city say mass executions have begun and children are burned alive as Assad’s Iranian- and Russian-backed forces move in.”

Not surprisingly, aside from unnamed “UN sources”, Weiss claims to have received his information from none other than the discredited US and UK-financed pseudo ‘NGO’ known as the White Helmets.
SEE ALSO: Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Bill to Stop US Government Funding and Arming Jihadist Terrorists in Syria
Back in September, numerous reports suggested that a western command center located behind terrorist-held lines had been targeted and destroyed by a Russian missile strike. Prof Michel Chossudovsky wrote:

The US and its allies had established a Field Operations Room in the Aleppo region integrated by intelligence personnel. Until it was targeted by a Russian missile attack on September 20, this “semi-secret” facility was operated by US, British, Israeli, Turkish, Saudi and Qatari intelligence personnel.”

This report was neither admitted, nor was it denied by US Coalition sources at the time. However, one mainstream Israeli source, The Times of Israel, did report the incident.
For anyone who has been paying close attention to the Syrian Conflict, seeing NATO special forces or “contractors” working with ‘rebel’ or terrorist fighters inside of Syria is nothing unusual. Numerous reports have been filed of British soldiers assigned to fighting groups to help with training, strategy and logistics. In June 2016, The Telegraph admitted that British special forces were helping one rebel group, “… with logistics, like building defences to make the bunkers safe,” said one ‘rebel’ fighter. Other reports, including the LA Times which detailed CIA operations used to arm militants, including Al Nusra Front (al Qaeda in Syria) who were the terrorist force in charge in East Aleppo. Other revelations of US covert involvement include The New York Times, and also information on US (NATO by another name only) covert operations provided to the Wall Street Journal.
South Front also notes:

Earlier in December, SF already noted that the US despearate attempts to push a “diplomatic solution” in Aleppo could indicate that the Obama administration stalling for time to extricate US mercenaries and special service members from the Aleppo pocket:

Considering that US-led coalition military advisers have been widely operating across Syria, training and assisting to the so-called “moderate opposition” openly linked with al-Qaeda, the recently appeared reports are likely true.
For instance, British military advisers have officially arrived to Syria to restore combat capability of the ‘moderate’ opposition, retreated from Aleppo…”

21WIRE can also point out that throughout fighting in the Donbass in eastern Ukraine, during the period of May 2014 to the present, numerous incidents have been reported where NATO military soldiers and operatives have been both spotted, and captured by rebel forces, and in most cases these reports have been muted, more than likely because of ‘horse trading’ taking place as an extension of wider diplomacy.
Contributors to this report were Patrick Henningsen and Vanessa Beeley.

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Do you people expect your readers not to check an embedded link? The article states:
“This report was neither admitted, nor was it denied by US Coalition sources at the time. However, one mainstream Israeli source, The Times of Israel, did report the incident.”
Actually, the Times of Israel was merely quoting the Russian media. If the Times of Israel quoted the Guardian newspaper about the White Helmets being responsible for saving thousands of lives, would you want to give your readers the impression that it was the truth?
I understand that your purpose is propaganda but really…


Well we certainly understand that the purpose of your comment is to obfuscate (by taking a sentence in the post out of its context so as to imply the information in it refers to the news about the 14 US-allied foreigners captured by Syrian Special Forces) and to troll.


I am obfuscating nothing. It was mischievous for the author of this article to give the impression that an Israeli paper vetted this report when all it was doing was reporting what the Russian press had said. I fail to understand how you people flatter yourself as being more truthful than The Guardian when you let something like this slip by.


The Times of Israel reported the news sourced from the Russian media about the US and its allies having a Field Operations Room in the Aleppo region until it was targeted and hit by Russian forces. The rest of the Off-Guardian post about the 14 US coalition military officers having been found by Syrian Special Forces in east Aleppo is based on Syrian sources.
See, either you were obfuscating or you flatter yourself on having found something that doesn’t exist in the article.

Doug Colwell

Louis, given your expertise in propaganda I have a question for you. When broad swathes of media fail or neglect to report on particular stories should we consider that propaganda? Or is that considered something outside the definition?


Masterfully done, Doug Colwell! There needs to be an applause-button function available


It is also neither admitted nor denied that the U.S. coalition funds Nusra Front (Al Qaeda), but we have it from an overwhelming number of sources that they do. If you actually read the article and look at all the links instead of cherrypicking one, there are a number of sources which give reason to believe that Nusra Front et al. aren’t exactly your beloved Sandinistas of old, Louis. And I don’t think I need to point out the difference between reports by journalists who are actually on the ground and third or fourth-hand reports from the White Helmets, an organization we know for a fact was created and is funded by the US and UK. But go on, keep shilling for power, at least you’re consistent.


They’ve provided a link to click on. What’s your issue? Funny how people like you spend your energy trying to troll sites like this while blind to MSM. I still remember your pathetic attempts to smear me by pulling out BS about Martin Chulov – which you never backed up either.
It’s pretty obvious what you’re about.

Douglas Urbanski
Douglas Urbanski

Does everyone think Vanessa Beeley is credited enough times in this article? Maybe a red notice at the end could say something like “please note Vanesa Beeley did some of this work and took that photo”??
Only kidding


Reblogged this on Once. Again..


It is probably fair to say that the liberation of Aleppo has caused mass hysteria and apoplexy among the elites around the capitals of the ‘free’ world. Maybe it is time for them to show us a siege should be conducted humanitarianly (no criticism intended of the Aleppo relief.)
There are still a million civilians trapped inside Mosul who the Red Cross are finding it hard to reach (which is strange as the terrorists seem to be able to get in and out unimpeded.) #WhereAreTheWhiteHelmets?
It is time for the US led Coalition to be exemplars – unlike the silent genocide of half a million Iraqi children, whose deaths Mad Albright thought were “worth it” – or the children of Fallujah, who had their city razed three times, by every banned munition (including depleted uranium) available – or the the children of Laos,Cambodia,Vietnam…
I could go on, but I need to finish this by Christmas.
If you ever read this, Ms Power, are you incapable of shame?


Sorry, should have read Oxfam, not the Red Cross.


The truth is that sieges never have been and never can be humanitarian. By definition with a siege you’re either trying to starve or bomb people out. I have a friend who was inside Duvrobnik (Ragusa), Croatia during the siege of 1991-1992, a siege that was remarkably humanitarian, refugees allowed to escape and so on, compared to Aleppo and Mosul. Still not a fun time, with bombardment, looting and so on.

Tsar Nicholas
Tsar Nicholas

I think the original source for the story is voltairenet.org and not voltaire.net as reported.

Greg Bacon

NATO? More like special forces goons, since Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Morocco are not part of NATO, but Israel has ‘observer’ status, whatever that means.
I bet Sam Powers got put on a Valium IV drip when this story came out!


Love the “IV drip” bit, got me laughing there, cheers 🙂

Eurasia News Online

Eh, there is no USA Embassy in the town so they could “retreat” from the rooftop. Apparently world No. 1 military super-power has a history (over 70 years) of “retreating” (often in panic) from various places after turning them into a rubble, murdering millions of civilians etc. I would say – execute the bastards and let western media cry “war crime” – who cares anyway. Hang them on the streets of Aleppo

Le Ruscino (@LeRuscino)

I would parade them for the World to see & then put them on a very public trial.

Brian Harry, Australia
Brian Harry, Australia

This must be “Highly embarrassing” to the self appointed, “World’s Policeman”, and their explanation will be very interesting indeed……..Has the USA “No Shame” at all?(to paraphrase that American woman at the United Nations)………..

Adrian Gian
Adrian Gian

Demonised humans have no conscience so will suffer no embrassment nor shame or guilt. That’s the type of people we are dealing with.


Well, a quick google search shows only left/alternative news sites picking up this story so far. I did some google searches using ‘new york times’ and tags like coalition soldiers captured in Aleppo, etc and no CNN, NPR, MSNBC, Sky News, BBC, graun, WaPo, aka MSM outlets come up. This instance is a good example of how selective the MSM actually is about what it decides is ‘newsworthy’ and will report as news. To not report this makes them look worse, as any pretense of fair play in reporting is out the window. All MSM outlets to you: ‘nothing to see here, move along, keep it orderly’, etc.

Brian Harry, Australia
Brian Harry, Australia

As far as I can tell, NO Australian MSM has told us anything about the 14 US coalition military forces captured. Nothing in the Sydney Morning Herald, nor the Guardian, and I wouldn’t even bother with the Murdoch “Daily Shite”.
In my opinion there is a(dare I say it) “Conspiracy” of silence in the MSM in the Western World. I really don’t trust anything they print these days, and I don’t even bother with the verbal and visual diarrhoea on my TV…….


All captured officers should be arraigned on war crimes charges in Damascus in front of the world’s entire media.

James Carless
James Carless

But will they be subjected to USA “enhanced interrogation techniques” al la Gitmo or ISIS koranic justice ?
Getting these military expert advisers to help disarm the booby traps in East Aleppo schools as German POWs were forced to do in1945 might make for sobering tv.

Eurasia News Online

Oh no – we barbarians don’t recognise all those nice courts established by “international community” (made of five Anglo-Saxon self proclaimed masters of the universe). Just hang them high on streets and leave them there so CNN/BBC/FOX etc. can show them to their audience for weeks and months to come. We don’t care what population of the “international community” thinks. Ya know different “civilisation” and that stuff. Germans turned peaceful in 1945 but we were def for their pleas for “humanity” and the same will be applied to the “international community” – you asked for fight so you better fight it to the end boys. No mercy, no negotiations no “peace” – none – forget about it


Meanwhile, back at the Graun… today’s website has an article entitled ‘Aleppo: Elegy for a doomed city whose history spans centuries’.
‘Despite hopes of a ceasefire over the past few years, nothing weakened the regime’s determination to turn the city into hell on earth.
‘The regime’s attack on the city is no less savage than the destruction of antiquities by Isis. In addition to the indiscriminate and mass killing of civilians, the relentless air bombardment has turned the ancient city into what CNN’s Clarissa Ward, who visited recently, described as “an apocalyptic wasteland”.
‘The difference between the actions of Assad and that of Isis is only in presentation: while Isis advertises its savagery for the world to see and be shocked by, Assad denies it.
‘… In Aleppo, a vicious, four-year-long campaign by the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad culminated last week in the expulsion of rebel fighters from their final bastions in the city’s eastern half, dealing a blow to the popular uprising against the Syrian dictatorship which exploded across the country in 2011.’
Etc., etc.