American Marines arrived in Northern Syria with artillery to support the U.S.-backed local forces fighting there, according to two American officials.
According to officials, U.S.-backed fighters are preparing in the coming weeks to go on the offensive on the city of raqqa, self-proclaimed territory of ISIS. The Pentagon and the marine Corps refused to confirm the deployment due to security concerns in the region. They also declined to specify the exact location of the forces or how many of them there.
The Washington Post first reported the location of the Marines. The deployment was not a surprise. Military commanders have for several weeks discussed the possibility of entering the artillery forces in the area to boost the possibilities of U.S.-backed Arab and Kurdish forces. A similar deployment last year near Mosul, Iraq, consisted of several hundred Marines, equipped with artillery guns that shoot projectiles, to provide cover fire for the advancing forces.
Since Marines have already been deployed in the region, the movement in Syria has not necessarily been specifically approved by the President of Donald trump or the Minister of defence James Mattis - and the White house and the Pentagon knew about the plan, officials said. The Marines have deployed ships in the Persian Gulf. This is the second major expansion of American ground forces in Northern Syria for a few days.
The US also deployed about 100 army Rangers in Mabie and around Syria. U.S. officials took the unusual step to publicly talk about the deployment of Marines and where they are, to protect them from unintentional falling under the fire of the armed forces in the region, or Turkish or Russian or Syrian forces. American troops in Manby trying to hold fighting because of their visible presence, not a typical mission to train, advise and assist local forces.
It is also unclear whether the deployment of Marines and Rangers to violate the existing norm against American troops in Syria. This cap generally restricts US to the fact that they simultaneously present more than 500 forces. Still troops in the area were mainly special forces.
The US believes that the pressure on ISIS in raqqa works. US official told reporters Wednesday that intelligence indicates that some of the leaders of ISIS operatives continue to try to leave the city.
sections: Politics, World News, Accidents