Empire of the Ring Chapter 632: A Kurdish Transfer Operation 2
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When the joint operation with the U.S. in Syria ended successfully, Michael called Youngho to congratulate it.
-Duke, all Syrian chemical factories and government armories have been confirmed destroyed. The Kazakh Navy did a great job.
"Don't you think the Kazakh Navy is a lot more reliable than the U.S. 6th Fleet that's enjoying a leisurely vacation in Naples?"
-Even if you get in a war, you need to give your soldiers enough rest, or there's going to be a problem with soldiers' morale. Always keep that in mind when you run the Kazakh military.
"But don't we have to rotate them for resting in case of emergency? We were lucky to have our warships in the Aegean Sea, but we almost lost our faith in the U.S. So, I'm telling you, why don't you pay for ten ship-to-ground missiles we poured out to destroy the chemical plants?"
At Youngho's demand, Michael laughed for a long time.
"If we had waited for the U.S. Navy, our people's lives would have been in danger. If it's a joint operation, I was going to let it go, but the U.S. had not done anything in this."
-Of course, we should pay for that since thanks to the Kazakh Navy, we have punished Syria properly. Thank you on behalf of the United States.
"Don't just thank me, but reward me in kind."
-Phew, all right. Take as many Tomahawk missiles as you want from Naples' 6th Fleet base.
"You have to give them cheaper than Korean-made missiles. They've been produced for years anyway."
-Duke. You know there's no expiration date on the missile. You should be glad to give Tomahawks at the factory cost.
Youngho was going to get compensated for ten missiles the Kazakh Navy used and buy 300 additional missiles from the U.S. so he was trying to negotiate it with Michael.
The traditional missiles used by the Kazakh Navy were supplied from Korea, but Tomahawks had a longer range, so Youngho was going to replace all of the missiles.
"I planned to actively participate in the Syrian operation in the future, but I'll have to reconsider."
-Okay, I got it. I'll let you know in consultation with the Secretary of Defense. How many missiles do you need?
"I'll just need 300 for now."
-What are you going to do with all those missiles? Are you going to go to war?
"It'll only be used for the safety of ourselves and allies."
As the U.S. was in a position of being helped by the Kazakh military in Afghanistan and Syria, the U.S. would not be able to refuse this.
-Duke, that amount can't be determined by the Pentagon. It is convenient for each other to deal with small portions.
"If you're uncomfortable, I'll make a concession. By the way, Chief, we still have a business to do."
-I'm scared to hear that.
"It's also about helping the U.S. military, so don't worry."
-Are you going to send troops to Syria?
"I'm going to bring the Kurds directly to the Port of Latakia. It's too dangerous to cross the Turkish border. So we're planning to temporarily land the Royal Bodyguards."
Michael was well aware that the Royal Bodyguard troops were special forces.
If such troops came to Syria, it would be a big boost for the U.S. military as well.
-How can I help you?
"Can you help our warships and car ferries to enter the Port of Latakia?"
-How many troops do you plan to send?
"We will send a large contingent of troops for now. If things don't work out, we're considering sending a battalion force."
-Dukes, instead of that, do you have any intention of a long-term presence as a member of the Allies? That would also help the Kurds' safety.
"I don't intend to deploy troops for the long-term. It's not like Kazakhstan can afford that."
The cost of sending troops was not a penny or two, so he took a step back.
It was a hassle to start with the creation of a base.
-We will pay for the stationing costs if Kazakhstan sends troops. We have a customized base, so we could provide it to the Kazakh Army.
Syria, which had been in a civil war for seven years, had also put a heavy political burden on the U.S. In this situation, the dispatch of ally forces was a boost to the U.S. government.
"All right. Let's look at it positively. I need some time to get an agreement of the National Assembly. We can probably station our troops for a short term."
-If you send troops, we can make good progress on the sale of Tomahawk missiles.
At Michael's tempting offer, Youngho agreed immediately.
Youngho promised that he would send two companies, Michael was exuberated because the two companies of the Kazakh Royal Bodyguards were more powerful than the equal size of troops in the regular fighting force.
It was spectacular to see ten tactical light armored vehicles carrying 240 soldiers, five Leopard II tanks, ten armored trucks and ten Humvee vehicles provided by the U.S. military.
This was the equivalent of the firepower of armor battalion firepower with a strong defense capability equipped with portable anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles.
After arriving at their destination three hours after departing from the port of Latakia, Syria, the Royal Bodyguard troops were taking over the base from the U.S. military and unpacking their luggage.
The base, which was used by the U.S. military, was to be transferred to the Kazakh military.
The base was built to repel the IS, 15 kilometers from the city of Aleppo, where Kurdish fighters used to be.
U.S. troops were also considering pulling out of Syria after rebels and Kurds withdrew to al-Hasakah, near the Iraqi border. With Russia and Iran helping Syrian government forces, it was also very burdensome for the U.S. military to be stationed in the city of Aleppo.
As the U.S. military stayed there for several years, the facilities at the base were the best. It was a proper base with a strong fence and even a high watch.
Captain Han Joo-ho looked satisfied as he toured the military base equipped with various amenities.
"It would be fair to say that this is a coalition headquarters, not a temporary one."
"Captain, look here. We even have a full gym."
"Whoa, are they here to wage war or to rest?"
"A well-off country is indeed different."
"What are you so jealous of when our Royal Bodyguards is as well-equipped as the U.S. military? Don't just look around at the facilities but put the guards on the line right away. And check the water supply facilities and fuel tanks. We need to refuel now."
"Yes, sir. I'll check."
The Royal Bodyguards, who received the location, immediately began patrolling nearby areas.
As the Kazakh forces were peacekeepers, the Syrian government did not have any hostility toward them. Although it was a bit uncomfortable to have fired ship-to-ground missiles from the naval vessel 1001, it was a minimal act of self-defense for the safety of the Kurds.
Some 200 residents of the Kurdish town, located 80 kilometers northeast of the Syrian city of Aleppo, were moving along a steep mountain path carrying their respective belongings. Behind the residents was a herd of goats.
The Syrian government forced them to leave as it assumed the town as a rebel stronghold and notified that there would be disadvantaged if they did not withdraw immediately.
The leader of the migration group was Jamal, a Kurdish-born Kazakh intelligence agent.
He had been staying in the Kurdish town until now, but when the situation became urgent, he persuaded people to withdraw. Jamal was in a hurry as the Royal Bodyguards stationed in Aleppo were also coming to join the group after his call.
It was about three hours to get to the road, and the migration procession, which included children and the elderly, moved at a snail's pace.
Jamal freaked out when people tried to take care of the goat herd that followed them.
"It would be a disaster if the soldiers who came to meet after withdrawing before we arrive. There's no time to take the livestock."
"They followed us around. How can we let them go? They can't stand a few days in the wild because they've been domesticated."
"People are more important than goats. What if the Syrian government forces catch us and hurt our people?"
"Who dares to treat us, Kurds recklessly?"
One of the old people of the village asked boldly, but he did not look too confident.
"Mister, Kurdish militia is no longer here. Do you think the Syrian government doesn't know that? The Syrian forces have been under the influence of the militias, and what if they now want to get even with us?"
"We have weapons to fight against them."
All they had were just a few AK rifles.
The old man's voice was already weak, even though he tried to sound firm.
"Then men can take the back. I'll lead the women down first."
The Kurdish militia had been holding out so far, so the government did not dare to touch the Kurds. But now most of them had moved to Kazakhstan and had managed to maintain their presence only in the northeastern region of Al-Hasakah, near the Iraqi border.
The area near Aleppo, where Kurdish fighters disappeared, was now controlled by Syrian government forces.
It was not until dark that they could meet the guards waiting under the mountain.
When Jamal met the Royal Bodyguards, he almost fell to the ground in relief. Han Joo-ho, who came out to meet Jamal, stepped forward.
"Are you Agent Jamal? I'm Captain Han Joo-ho of the Royal Bodyguards."
"You must be the Captain of the stationary force. It's my first time seeing you. This is Agent Jamal."
Jamal's emaciated and shameless appearance clearly showed how much he had gone through.
"You did a great job of transporting the villagers. Everyone got here safe because of you. His Highness and Princess Jelyan told us to treat you well."
When Han Joo-ho mentioned the Duke and Jelyan, Jamal blushed. It was almost like being rewarded for having suffered so far. He was moved by how much the Duke and the Princess cared for him.
"As you can see, they even brought a flock of goats."
"Those people are quite determined. They're bringing the livestock with themselves."
"They followed us. No matter how hard we tried to chase them away they didn't care."
"Then let's drive them to the base. Our troops will love to be served with fresh milk and meat."
"Is there no problem?"
"From here on, we'll have roads and there are not many risk factors. Let's first send the villagers to the base and follow them slowly."
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