Trump sending in United States ground troops to wipe out ISIS

The Raqqa campaign received a boost in recent days with the deployment of a U.S. Marines artillery unit, adding to the several hundred U.S. special forces already in Syria supporting the operation backed by air strikes from the U.S. -led coalition.

U.S. Marines have been deployed to northern Syria to help in the fight to retake the city of Raqqa from Islamic State militants.

There has been no official announcement, but military officials have confirmed the deployment to other news agencies.

More U.S. conventional forces, in addition to the Marines just sent into Syria to set up an artillery firebase, may be needed to support the assault on the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, a top U.S. commander said Thursday. Without Mosul from which to recruit, train and plan attacks, and from which to project atrocities into Europe and the USA homeland, the coalition has seen ISIS' flow of foreign fighters and external support diminish significantly, the official added. The indications are this isn't working, but it's still not clear Turkey would directly attack targets with USA forces present.

Among the additional USA troops deployed in Syria is a Marine Corp artillery battery equipped with 155mm howitzers, according to the Pentagon. That is the estimated maximum range on many rounds fired from the M-777 howitzer.

The sending 2,500 additional forces to Kuwait to serve in a reserve capacity in the fight against the Islamic State, Army Times reports. The firebase was 15 miles from ISIS forces, which often fired rockets at the Marines, Col. Robert Fulford, commander of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, said a year ago. The Marines were armed with 155-millimetre artillery guns.

But in recent days, the United States military officials have begun saying that Raqqa will not be the final battle, as the terror group has begun evacuating its leaders from the city, spreading them out to nearby Syrian cities and along the Euphrates River valley.

At the moment, roughly 6,000 U.S. troops are operating in both Iraq and Syria, according to the Army Times.

A small force of Army Rangers was deployed to the northwest city of Manbij over the weekend to provide what a Pentagon spokesman called a "visible sign of deterrence". "The threat of radical Shi'ite Islam threatens us no less than it does the region and the peace of the world, and I know that we are partners in the desire to prevent any kind of victory by radical Islam of any sort", he said.

The U.S. Defense Department has described the mission in Manbij as one to "reassure and deter" local parties from attacking one another.

"This operation should be carried out jointly by the USA and Turkey", Yildirim said during a lunch with several American journalists at his office compound in Turkey's capital. According to reports, the forces are planning to advance toward Raqqa in the next few weeks.

Maintaining peace between the groups in Manbij will be crucial if they will work together in the battle for Raqqa.

Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced in early December that 200 additional American special operations troops would join the 300 already serving in a train, advise and assist role inside Syria since early 2016.

  • Leroy Wright