Trump sending massive USA attack force to OBLITERATE ISIS terror capital Raqqa
Trump sending massive USA attack force to OBLITERATE ISIS terror capital Raqqa
Russian Defense Ministry Press Office TASS
17 March, 2017, 01:36
This 1,000 troops is in addition to other recent deployments to Syria announced by the Pentagon, and when completed is expected bring the number of USA troops in Syria overall to close to 2,000.
Defense officials have drawn up plans for as many as 1,000 ground troops to head to Syria in the coming weeks, the Washington Post reported this afternoon. There are now approximately 500 US Special Operations forces, 250 Rangers, and 200 Marines in Syria. Turkey has declared the YPG a terrorist organization and considers it to be linked to its own home-grown Kurdish insurgency.
Dorrian said it is possible Turkish forces may play a role in Raqa.
The Syrian Democratic Forces is largely dominated by the YPG, the PKK-linked group regarded as a terrorist organization by Turkey, and which has carried out attacks on Turkish troops in the past.
Trump made clear throughout the campaign and since his inauguration that he was willing to increase the number of US troops in Syria.
Still, he said he expected Kurdish fighters to be involved in liberating Raqa "at some level".
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In a weird twist in a long-bewildering war, the primary mission of the U.S. Army Rangers is to protect the Americans' Kurdish and Arab allies massed in the region from Turkey, which wants its own forces to lead the charge against Raqqa, the big prize in the war to crush IS.
Dorrian also said the Russian forces have similarly put out their flags, and that the two militaries are working in close proximity in Manbij, a medium-sized Syrian city that had a pre-civil war population of less than 100,000 people.
SDF fighters have been on the offensive in the Raqqa area since November and have closed major supply roads used by IS.
Trump, who charged former president Barack Obama with being weak on Syria, gave the Pentagon 30 days to prepare a new counter-Islamic State plan, and Mattis submitted a broad outline to the White House at the end of February.
The plans, which still need to be approved by President Donald Trump and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, would mark a significant uptick in U.S. boots on the ground in Syria as part of the fight against the Islamic State group. The official USA limit of the number of troops that can be in Syria is 503, a number long since surpassed.
The Russian military said Friday that its warplanes have killed more than 600 militants in just one week while backing the Syrian army's offensive against IS.
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