It’s Official, Pentagon Will Now Keep Troop Count In Iraq And Syria Secret

By Annabelle Bamforth

The U.S. Central Command recently announced that troop numbers in Iraq and Syria will no longer be reported to the public. In its announcement, CENTCOM spokesman Army Col. John Thomas declared that “capabilities, not numbers,” should be the area of focus, and the public will be given general estimates of troop sizes in the future.

Jason Ditz of antiwar.com points out that the Obama administration was already less than forthcoming about the number of soldiers sent to these areas by utilizing a variety of tactics, including “deliberately omitting large numbers of troops from the official count by labeling them ‘temporary.’”

The Pentagon’s announcement comes during a time in which the U.S. military’s recent use of airstrikes is under fresh scrutiny and stands accused of causing deaths of hundreds of civilians in recent weeks, including strikes in Mosul last week that killed an unconfirmed, but reportedly numerous, number of noncombatants.

According to Reuters regarding the strike in Mosul, “Eyewitnesses from Mosul and Iraqi officials have said last week’s strike on Islamic State targets may have collapsed homes where rescue officials say as many as 200 people were buried in the rubble.” Reuters described this event as “one of the deadliest single incidents for civilians in recent memory in any major conflict involving the U.S. military.”

In the Pentagon’s acknowledgment of the Mosul strike and announcement of its investigation into the incident, Army Col. Joseph Scrocca admitted that “we believe a coalition strike contributed in at least some way to the civilian casualties.”

In addition, reports have surfaced alleging that recent U.S. airstrikes in Syria have led to significant civilian deaths. One strike that was launched in northern Syria in mid-March, reportedly targeted at a building “that local officials said was a mosque filled with worshippers at evening prayer” and also resulted in civilian casualties. Another strike by a U.S.-led coalition at a school in Raqqa that was being “used as refugee centre,” according to The Guardian. The Guardian’s report notes that “Over the past eight months, there have been four cases in which US planes or drones have been blamed for mass civilian casualties in Syria.”

The new U.S. presidential administration has unsurprisingly provided little change in its approach to foreign policy and the war on terror; in fact, President Trump is currently considering sending at least 1,000 more troops to Syria. As Ditz noted, the government has long lacked transparency regarding troop numbers in Iraq and Syria, and it appears that CENTCOM may be seeking to avoid further criticism over specific deployment numbers by simply eliminating these reports. However, this increase in secrecy that further places civilians in the dark will undoubtedly exacerbate tensions across the globe in regards to American accountability.

Another troubling revelation from Thomas is the military’s dismissal of making changes to airstrike policy. Thomas stated that General Joseph Votel, the head of CENTCOM, “is not looking into changing the way we operate other than to say our processes are good and we want to make sure we live by those processes.”

New Hampshire-based writer Annabelle Bamforth is focused on breaking the left/right paradigm through new media and local politics. Annabelle is the editor-in-chief of Emmy-winning journalist Ben Swann’s Truth In Media Project and a producer for Mr. Swann’s Truth In Media episodes. This article first appeared at TheFreeThoughtProject.com


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14 Comments on "It’s Official, Pentagon Will Now Keep Troop Count In Iraq And Syria Secret"

  1. HA! Secret wars by & for public swamp creatures?

    No one in a military family will even notice they are gone once they are mobilized…

  2. Fascist scum run america.

    SECEDE…SECEDE…SECEDE!!!

  3. Psychic Warrior | April 3, 2017 at 5:47 am | Reply

    Usually Stupid Americans at war for decades. We are the Fourth Reich headed for extinction by the rogue state USA.

  4. good. we have been announcing what we are doing for far too long. Utter stupidity to let your enemies know your plans.

    • Garry Compton | April 4, 2017 at 10:21 am | Reply

      Syria is not the enemy – Sonny – the US – Is.

      • Israhell is the enemy.

      • No, whoever is gasing women and children would be the enemy in my book. Whether its Syria or ISIS needs to be investigated thoroughly before bombing the hell out of someone.

        • Garry Compton | April 14, 2017 at 1:27 am | Reply

          Nice try sonny – on the 3rd the US bombed Isis near Deir Zheir – when the warehouse blew up there was huge clouds of gaz and hundreds are dead. I’m guessing Syria can now blame the US for killing their citizens with illegal war crimes and dropping gaz bombs in there country. Assad has no gaz – The US, Turkey,Israel,Arabia, Georgia, Ukraine, Libya are 100% known to make gaz bombs

          • let me cut and paste it for you again since you have reading comprehension problems “Whether its Syria or ISIS needs to be investigated thoroughly before bombing the hell out of someone.” Where the hell do you get info that we bombed on the 3rd?

          • Garry Compton | April 15, 2017 at 9:11 am |

            Maybe it was the 13th – I get my Russian and English confused here.

  5. Of course they will keep it a secret – if the American people find out it would be game over for these military thugs.

  6. Christopher Schultz | April 4, 2017 at 7:34 pm | Reply

    Will they censor the flag draped coffins again?

    • We will have a rash of troops killed in helicopter crashes on routine training missions. (who died training to defend our freedoms here at home)

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