These photos of US troops hammering ISIS in Syria and then playing baseball are straight outta 'Apocalypse Now'

US ArmyIraqi Security Forces is ready to fire at known ISIS locations near the Iraqi-Syrian border using an M109A6 Paladin Self-Propelled Howitzer, June 5, 2018.

About a mile from the Iraqi-Syrian border is a US military fire base where approximately 150 Marines and soldiers are still hammering ISIS in Syria with artillery.

“To get to the firebase, you fly by helicopter over Mosul,” NPR’s Jane Arraf reported on Monday.

“And then just a little more than a mile from the Syrian border, there’s a collection of tents and armoured vehicles in the desert,” Arraf said, adding that the US troops have been at the remote, temporary base for about a month.

In early June, the US Army released a dozen photos showing the base and the troops firing M777 howitzers and M109 Paladins to support the Syrian Democratic Forces clearing ISIS from the Euphrates River Valley.

Then a few weeks later, the Army released photos of the troops playing an improvised game of baseball as dusk sets in and smoke clouds billow in the background.

Check them out below:


Here’s part of the base, which appears to be surrounded by a sand barrier for protection.

US Army

It’s about 100 degrees at the camp, and is crawling with scorpions and biting spiders, NPR reported.


And US troops are firing M777 howitzers.

US ArmyU.S. Army Soldiers with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment fire artillery alongside Iraqi Security Force artillery at known ISIS locations near the Iraqi-Syrian border, June 5, 2018.

Read more about the M777 here.


As well as M109 Paladins.

US ArmyIraqi Security Forces fire at known ISIS locations near the Iraqi-Syrian border using an M109A6 Paladin Self-Propelled Howitzer, June 5, 2018.

Read more about the Paladin here, and watch a demo video of it firing from inside here.


Here’s a wide shot of how the M777s are set up.

US Army

But US troops are not alone at the base as they’re operating alongside Iraqi forces.

“Iraqi commanders normally select the targets,” NPR’s Arraf said. “The strikes are mostly in remote areas. The U.S. military says it takes care to avoid civilian casualties.”


Here’s a shot of one of the Paladins at night.

US ArmyIraqi Security Forces are ready to fire at known ISIS locations near the Iraqi-Syrian border using an M109A6 Paladin Self-Propelled Howitzer, June 5, 2018.

And an M777 firing at night too.

US ArmyU.S. Army Soldiers with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment fire artillery alongside Iraqi Security Force artillery at known ISIS locations near the Iraqi-Syrian border, June 5, 2018.

The 155mm rounds “weigh about a hundred pounds each,” Sgt. Jason Powell told NPR. “And sometimes we get up to 12-round fire missions. So with your gear on and hauling these rounds, these guys are fricking animals.”

US Army

Source: NPR


Here’s the first shot released a couple weeks ago of the troops playing baseball.

US ArmyU.S. Army Sgt. Juan Vallellanes-Ramos, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, prepares to bat during an improvised game of baseball near the Iraqi-Syrian border, June 23, 2018.

“I think Fourth will be good spent playing ball,” Private Clayton Mogensen told NPR. “We’ve got a few baseballs here, and we take the handle from a pickaxe and set bases up and just have a good time.”


And here comes the pitch.

US Army

U.S. Army Sgt. Juan Vallellanes-Ramos swings the axe handle.

US ArmyU.S. Army Sgt. Peter Scaion, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, swings an improvised bat during a fun game of baseball near the Iraqi-Syrian border, June 23, 2018.

And connects, appearing to crack the wooden handle.

US Army

But it’s unclear if he scored.

US ArmyU.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Michael England, rounds the bases during a fun game of baseball near the Iraqi-Syrian border, June 23, 2018.

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