Backed SDF says it can capture Syrian city of Raqqa

A San Diego County-based Marine unit sent to help fight the Islamic State in Syria is now taking part in what appears to be an escalation of USA ground troops' presence in the Middle East - one that hasn't been seen in years and one that's inspired much political debate in America.

According to CNN, about 100 Army Rangers are already in and around the Syrian city of Manbij.

Until recently, the approximately 500 USA troops in Syria were mostly Special Forces, but Votel said he sees little problem in mixing the special ops troops with conventional forces.

Craig said the deployment is temporary.

US forces are setting up an outpost some 20 miles south of the city, where they will establish an artillery battery that will fire powerful 155mm shells from M777 howitzers, in support of the coalition force's offensive, according to Defense Department sources who spoke to the Washington Post.

During his presidency, Obama resisted calls to use ground troops in the Middle East to help allies fight the Islamic State.

The operating in a feverish dash to secure the city of Raqqa before the Syrian Army is able to capture the city from Islamic State forces.

As the proxy war intensifies and USA imperialism continues to bolster its role in the region, all anti-war and progressive forces must see the writing on the wall.

They are to set up an artillery battery that could fire powerful 155mm shells from M777 howitzers, the officials said.

Iraq, Syria's neighbor, is battling a fierce battle to retake the northern city of Mosul from ISIL, the battle for Raqqa will look like it, according to USA officials. According to reports, the forces are planning to advance toward Raqqa in the next few weeks.

A series of options for the Syria fight were mapped out by the military.

The Kurdish militia has secured major roads in and out of Raqqa, disrupting the Islamic State's ability to replenish manpower and supplies, as well as the group's ability to launch attacks on targets in the United States and Europe, Dorrian said. Now, Marine artillery is being added to the mix.

The deployment reflects Washington's deeper involvement in Syria under the administration of President Donald Trump and thrusts the US further into a hard diplomatic entanglement.

Turkey's military chief this week discussed Syria with his USA and Russian counterparts. "In fact, Syria has been complaining since 2012 that Turkey is helping terrorist groups inside Syria and the fact that Turkey has breached Syrian sovereignty", Mimi al-Laham told Press TV in an interview on Friday.

"Despite a long road ahead for the USA -led coalition in its fight to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the enemy is being degraded by every measure and is on a trajectory to lasting defeat".

Foreign ministers and senior officials from 68 nations and worldwide organizations are invited for the two-day gathering starting March 22. But, what does "escalation" mean when the US under the Obama administration dropped 12,192 bombs on Syria in 2016 alone, destroying the country's infrastructure killing thousands?

It will be the first full meeting of the coalition since December 2014. "The enemy is being degraded by every measure and is on a trajectory to lasting defeat", the Pentagon said in a statement.

  • Jon Douglas