Syria the great escape

When US special forces were ordered to pull out of Syria in October 2019 the Pentagon had to activate emergency plans to evacuate its troops. Tim Ripley looks at the airlift mission to extract American soldiers from Syria.

On a grassy plain in northwest Syria a column of US Army mine-protected vehicles was lined up beside a rough airstrip waiting to be loaded into the cavernous hold of a US Air Force C-17A airlifter from Air Mobility Command (AMC). Behind the vehicles, a gaggle of forklift trucks could be seen preparing cargo pallets and ISO containers for loading. Overhead a pair of US Army AH-64D attack helicopters was circling the airstrip to monitor the movement of civilian vehicles on the roads that passed to the south. Operation Break Glass was under way.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below