Marines in Syria for the assault against Raqqa
US troops plan to help the Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces. Their deployment has not been authorised by Syria’s Assad, but certainly received Russia’s green light.
Washington (AsiaNews/Agencies) – US Marines are in Syria on the outskirts of Raqqa, the “capital” of the Islamic State, a US official said, a report confirmed by the Washington Post.
This marks an unprecedented move for US troops in the Mideast country, signalling a radical change in US policy in the Middle East with respect to President Obama’s policy of no US troops on the ground.
There is no evidence that Syrian President Assad authorised the deployment, but it is safe to assume that Russia, the Syrian dictator’s main ally, gave it the green light.
The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit has deployed a battery of 155mm Howitzers for the final assault against Raqqa.
Currently, the United States has limited its ground troops to about 500 special operations fighters whose job has been to train and assist the Syrian Democratic Forces, a local Arab-Kurdish alliance fighting the Islamic State.
According to the Post, the artillery deployment is not part of President Donald Trump's demand for a new plan to increase the pace of the anti-IS war.