Video footage appears to show US commandos fleeing a Syrian town under a barrage of abuse and insults hurled at them by fighters from the American-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebel group.The video appears to be the first evidence of US special forces cooperating with Turkish troops in their battle against Islamic State (Isil).The incident illustrates the complex web of alliances and enmities in Syria, where many of America’s allies are fighting each other and some rebel groups that receive US support still harbour strong anti-American sentiments.The footage shows a crowd of rebel fighters in the town of al-Rai near the Turkish border, which was captured from Isil by Syrian rebel groups with the backing of Turkey. Turkey, which launched a military incursion into Syria in late August, has been backing the FSA.
The fighters scream anti-American chants as a column of pick-up trucks carrying US commandos drives away from them.“Christians and Americans have no place among us,” shouts one man in the video. “They want to wage a crusader war to occupy Syria.”Another man calls out: “The collaborators of America are dogs and pigs. They wage a crusader war against Syria and Islam.”
The footage shows a group of agitated men, gathered in the town square, shouting anti-American slogans in Arabic, as a cavalcade of vehicles passes by.The chants include: “Down with America,” “Get out you dogs,” and “They are coming to Syria to occupy it.” Voices in the background call the US troops “pigs” and “crusaders.”“We don’t want a single American fighting in Syria alongside us,” says a man in the second video. “We are Muslims, we are not infidels. Get out!”Reuters cited a US official and a “senior rebel commander,” who confirmed that a protest had taken place, which ended with US troops making their way back towards the Turkish border.