US Sends Hundreds Of Marines 20 Miles From ISIS Capital

Tyler Durden's picture

While the Trump administration waits to decide if it will send 1,000 troops to Kuwait to fight ISIS, overnight the Washington Post reported that the US has sent several hundred Marines to Syria to support an allied local force aiming to capture the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa. Defence officials said they would establish an outpost from which they could fire artillery at IS positions some 32km (20 miles) away. US special forces are already on the ground, "advising" the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance according to the BBC.

The defence officials told the Washington Post that the Marines were from the San Diego-based 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and that they had flown to northern Syria via Djibouti and Kuwait. They are to set up an artillery battery that could fire powerful 155mm shells from M777 howitzers, the officials said. Another marine expeditionary unit carried out a similar mission at the start of the Iraqi government's operation to recapture the city of Mosul from IS last year.

Under former President Barack Obama, US special operations forces were deployed to recruit, train and advise the SDF's Arab and Kurdish fighters. However, their numbers were limited to 500.
The Marines' deployment is considered temporary, so it is not affected by the cap. The western alliance is expected to launch an assault on Raqqa in the coming weeks, which virtually assures that hundreds more will be shipped in shortly.

A spokesman for the US-led multinational coalition against IS, Colonel John Dorrian, told Reuters news agency on Thursday that the dozens of Rangers who recently arrived on the outskirts of Manbij, about 110km (68 miles) from Raqqa, were also there "for a temporary period".

Additionally, over the weekend, a separate force of elite US army Rangers was also deployed near a town north-west of Raqqa in heavily armoured vehicles, in an attempt to end clashes between SDF fighters and a Turkish-backed rebel force. Pentagon officials had earlier said the Rangers were taking part in a "reassure and deter" mission following clashes between Turkish-backed Arab rebels and local fighters from the Manbij Military Council, which was set up by the SDF when it captured the town from IS last year.

Last week, after Turkey's president said the rebels aimed to capture Manbij, the council said it had agreed a deal with Russia to hand a string of villages on the frontline over to Syrian government forces in order to protect them. Turkey considers the Kurdish Popular Protection Units (YPG) militia, which dominates the SDF, an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which operates inside Turkey.

Is this a US escalation?

The short answer: yes; the official one: "it is not yet clear", but the deployment comes as President Donald Trump considers a new plan to defeat IS that was submitted by the Pentagon late last month. Reports say the review may lead to an increase in the number of US troops in Syria, but not a dramatic shift in strategy.

The Associated Press news agency reports that Mr Trump wants to give the Pentagon greater flexibility to make routine combat decisions in the fight against IS. Commanders on the ground were frustrated by what they considered micromanagement by the Obama administration, it adds. As reported last night, the US is also said to be preparing to send up to 1,000 troops to Kuwait to serve as a reserve force that can deployed to fight IS in Syria and Iraq if necessary.

In total, about 6,000 US troops are in the countries, but largely in advisory roles.

Why Is Raqqa so important?

As the WSJ writes overnight, the ongoing "three-way contest" for Raqqa will shape the mideast. Here are some details:

As the Syrian conflict enters its sixth year, the outcome of the scramble for Islamic State’s de facto capital will shape the balance of power in the Middle East for the foreseeable future.

 

With the self-styled caliphate rapidly shrinking in Iraq after the loss of much of Mosul, the fall of Raqqa and Islamic State’s remaining territories in Syria has become just a matter of time. The contest over who gets these spoils, however, threatens to unleash a new spiral of violence that could draw regional and global powers deeper into the conflict.

 

The three forces aiming for Raqqa—Sunni Arab rebels, the Syrian regime and Kurdish-led militias—all view control over that area as giving them crucial leverage in any political settlement of the war.

The complicated dynamic is further muddled by the strategic calculations of their main sponsors, whose own interests extend far beyond the power struggle inside Syria.

 

Turkey, the main supporter of the rebel Free Syrian Army and allied Sunni Arab militias, is most interested in weakening the main Syrian Kurdish political faction, which is affiliated with the PKK, or Kurdistan Workers’ Party. The PKK is waging a violent campaign inside Turkey and is considered a terrorist group by Washington and Ankara alike.

 

For the Syrian regime’s main backer Russia, which has developed ties with the Syrian Kurds and, of late, with some Sunni Arab rebels, the main goal is to capitalize on its costly investment in Syria and to cement the achievements of its military campaign through a political deal.

 

The Trump administration, meanwhile, is still reviewing its Syria policy. Its actions, for now, remain driven almost exclusively by the military priorities in the battle against Islamic State, with limited attention to America’s other interests and alliances in the region.

More here.

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roadhazard's picture

Get Out of the Mid East.

CPL's picture

Why?  They need to go grab the slaves to put in Europe and the USA before the oil runs out.  Just after stranding all the armed forces in the middle of a dessert patch.  Because that's the plan.

Looney's picture

 

A few hundred marines “aiming to capture the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa”???

Our boys are sent there to be placed right between the Turks (our allies) and the Kurds (our other allies), so they wouldn’t kill each other.

We need to leave that shithole completely! No buts or ifs!

Looney

Belrev's picture

Meanwhile ISIS sends their soldiers to USA, and they cant find them now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKnWdRiCBow

tmosley's picture

Will be interesting to see if we will actually end a war in the Middle East (with a victory!) under Trump.

Mustafa Kemal's picture

As he so clearly stated "they only have to WIN"

Ok Donald, lets see the winning.

Ignatius's picture

Will the US be dropping "barrel bombs" on ISIS in Mosul?  Apparently, it was a very successful strategy employed by the Syrian Arab Army to win in Aleppo. 

FireBrander's picture

Raqqa is in the middle of a desert; it's lush and grows food thanks to a large reservoir outside of the city (and another way upstream)..there are only so many ways in and out...take control of the water (capture the dam, cripple the cities pumping station) and an old fashioned siege ends it pretty quickly...NO NEED TO SHELL THE FUCKING CITY INTO RUBBLE CREATING MORE "REFUGEES"!

flicker life's picture

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New_Meat's picture

MDB's bot rolled out of the bed in the basement before noon today ;-)

Jim Sampson's picture

Would would have thought the shovel ready jobs were in MENA?

Barney Fife's picture

You got that from the mainstream media, didn't you? More importantly you believe it, 100% and uncritically, right? 

Whoa Dammit's picture

The only way to win is not to play.

greenskeeper carl's picture

100% correct. I hope his bribing the military and MIC to get behind him with his colossally wasteful defense budget is worth it. Very disappointed.

Gentle-Giant's picture

USA is there illegal, its an invasion ! Nobody invited them into Syria so they need to get F out.

cossack55's picture

There you go again with all that "must follow the LAW" BS.  Laws do not apply to Govs, only you

New_Meat's picture

Time honoured tradition under so-called "international" so-called "law" is that letting misguided children play in different neighbourhoods doesn't violate any "laws".  If the grumpy old man can chase the children off of the lawn, then they will leave.  Hezb'Allah has played the part of the grumpy old man before.

tmosley's picture

I wonder about that, since US and Russian forces have been co-operating. I haven't heard whether US forces have been working with Syrian government forces or not. If not, I don't know who they imagine is going to take control of all this territory they are seizing.

OverTheHedge's picture

It's OK, because it is a Syrian "regime", not a government. No need to comply with laws when dealing with a "regime".

Note to Tyler: Shouldn't Turkey now be a "regime", also? Oh, and it is not ISIS, it is "So Called" ISIS, and it is not Kurdish-led Militias, it is "Truly Heroic, Noble and Unfeasibly Handsome" Kurdish-led Militias.

Any chance we could agree to forgo the propaganda and lies that all this labelling supplies, and just call them Syria, Turkey, Kurds etc? I appreciate you write a hell of a lot each day, and quite a bit will be cutting and pasting, but you are in danger of echoing the MSM by using all their labels.

 

Paul Kersey's picture

Without an endless number of foreign false-flag wars, Americans might focus, instead, on the real enemies from within, the banksters. Now we certainly can't have that, can we?

DrunkenMonkey's picture

"Western alliance", "International coalition" .. LOL ! Who writes this stuff ?

The US (plus Shizrail, probably) are the only 'westerners' acknowledged to be present.

Tiwin's picture

Ice iss is a fiction.

Isreal secret intel service

 

Join the Army and fight for Israel.

onewayticket2's picture

don't worry, they're all wearing sneakers and flip flops.....to avoid having actual "boots" on the ground.

Winston Churchill's picture

So when do the Chinese troops show up ?

Ghost of PartysOver's picture

I have no idea who our "true Allies" are in the ME.  I guess it depends on which way the dessert dust is blowing on any given day.

TheLastTrump's picture

Israel and probably Jordan- that's it.

Mustafa Kemal's picture

"I have no idea who our "true Allies" are "

That really depends on what you mean by "our"  If you mean the Seeyayeh, that is ISIS.

This effort will not eliminate ISIS is that area.  It is meant to carve up Syria so that ISIS/Seeyayeh maintains a stronghold at the center.

Blankone's picture

Yes, this is the taking of Syria from the north and east.  These troops are in addition to the troops sent to Manbij that were reported on and filmed last week.  They are taking the precious water flow route and oil fields.

All because Putin was too fearful to establish a no-fly zone over Syria.  Putin plays checkers again.

Wait, I thought it was Hillary who was going to do these things!!  Just wait until we see what else Trump has in store.

CPL's picture

If you want to take the teeth out of a nation, you send it's soldiers everywhere but home.  Because that's what they did.  They took away the US ability to defend itself by sending all the men away.

TheLastTrump's picture

You have no idea what you're talking about.

 

Every male between age 14 and 44 in the USA is a member of the militia & is expected to show up and pick up a rifle if called upon.

 

Many of us take this seriously.

CPL's picture

Yeah all...what...ten of you?  Maybe 15 or so if they are serving beer and BBQ?  You already lost.

TeamDepends's picture

Yeah, sure. Do you have any idea how many hunters there are? Add that number to militia/preppers and you have a sizable army. They needed to disarm us but failed miserably. We agree however that all foreign bases should be closed and all troops brought home to protect our borders.

CPL's picture

They've run about a hundred different scenario's and false flag events.  Most american's can't seem to line up fast enough to wrap their lips around someone's cock to support whatever pointless horseshit that gets trotted out.  The fact is you are all very dumb and follow whatever you are told to do.  You've been socially trained, bred and scultped to do nothing else since Nixon.

I hate to inform you, but there is no USA anymore.  You are going to become an adjunct of the Caliphate run from Turkey.  Your 'leaders', every last one of them, work for them.  you want to fix it, you already know what you need to do, but it's a situation that confuses you all.  The idea of a shadow war.  The idea of being decieved.  It's really for the best for you all.  It's not like you've really done anything with yourselves but piss everyone off.

They won as soon as GW Bush Jr got into power.  That was the end of the USA.  Right now you are all in the middle of a migration.  After you are all migrated over to Islam, the plan is consume India next.  Then China.  Because their leaders are all in line with 'the plan'.  They need to get women out of the work force.  They need to lower the cost of owning you all.  Fastest way is drop a fundementalist religious group into everyone's governments and throw all the economies over the rails.

And you all traded it for oil.  Traded it for the massice trade deficit for nearly 100 years with people that you really shouldn't have done business with.  But you did and now everything you knew and were depending on is going to be taken away and replaced.  So start growing that beard and praying five times a day towards a rock, as stupid as that sounds, because that's who you owe all the money to.

It's too bad, there was potential for greater things in the USA, but it got sold cheap a long time ago.  Worse yet, you never paid the guy with the muscle actually watching over it and keeping it in check.  I'll give this piece of advice now to save the time.  Go get all the women in your family fitted with burkas because it's going to happen soon, unlike you people.  When a mullah tells ten million men to go take something.  They do it without question.  Tell an american to do something, forget about it.

You all lost the game a long time ago.  They are coming.  You will adopt it or get cut out of all the business and they will simply pick you all off one by one for the reasons you don't pay the debts you owe to the right people and the entire US corporation is about as organised as a fart in a windstorm.

You should have never listened to that crazy old man btw and you might want to catch him before he sneaks off to the house of saud to go collect a ten billion dollar check for throwing the valley under the bus.  Sold out his own kin in the valley.  So to explain something, you aren't the only ones that were thrown under the bus by enemies within.

CPL's picture

When Islam is in Brazil and South America, then things get fucked up.  Right now it's a question of repossession of assets.  9/10ths of the law is all about ownership afterall.  (what's amazing is how little it took to buy out Maurice Strong and his family.  The Mayer's were bought out with less than 500k.  Trudeau took 24 million in bonds with a pizza delivery)

Their leaders roll over for nothing and it's hillarious.

 

Even 'Russia' doesn't understand they've been sold down the river.  Their 'top guys' all gave it up for very, very, very little in the hopes they would be overlooked.  They won't be and are completely niave in their understanding of the situation.  None of them will be required after the migration and the money they were given won't be worth anything.

BigFatUglyBubble's picture

MDB is that you?

Being a Prog Troll got old so you are doing a new Zionist neo-Con troll shtick?

Where's the Accredited Times link?

aliens is here's picture

What about over 44? I am over 44 under 50 so I can still fight.

CPL's picture

Yes, but it will probably be for Islam after the Mulliah declares a fatiwa.

AKB0048Fan's picture

10 drunk Texans could kill 1000 Islamic sand niggers without losing any men

chubbar's picture

Did anyone notice that the description of what political gains the US is after is completely ambiguous in this article? What's interesting is that no one seems to be the least bit interested that a captured Syrian city be returned to the control of the Syrian gov't. It's all about which other country other than Syria is benefited by this victory. That tells you all you need to know about why the US gov't is sending our troops over to be potentially killed, it's not about defeating ISIS, that's going to happen whether the US is there or not, it's political as usual and probably about oil or petrodollar concerns.

CPL's picture

No, it's got to do with the MASSIVE debt in arrears to the central banks mostly done by trade deficits run up by oil.  They own all your sorry asses now.  Instead of developing other energy routes that would have been less profitable, all the men in the 1900's short sighted decisions to maintain tiny jew fiefdoms has brought you all to this point.  Andrew Jackson wasn't an oracle by any means, just understood the outcome of the concept of a central bank.  I doubt he knew or understood that his nation would roll over with it's ass in the air for the ability to print jew confetti just so people could drive to the corner store.

Pull back 50000 feet and here's the situation:  You got pwn'd hard and it's got so little to do with oil, that position is completely laughable.  You all sold yourselves in inches for jew bux and buffoonery.  The status quo really doesn't give a shit about syria, it's wrecked dump run by a messianical religious dictator.  To these people a line on a map means nothing and lending complexity to this situation only hinders your approach. 

You are watching the foreclosure on the convience of driving around on someone else's resources in the middle east.  And all your grass is greener, so they are moving into your neighbourhoods.  Don't feel bad though, they will over populate the regions they move into and turn it to sand just like everywhere else they go.  Because it's what they do, it's what they've always done and you guys are about to get a first hand approach to watching them put your entire world through the Islam cement mixer while you join 'the hive'.

AKB0048Fan's picture

Cut down on your drug use

Tiwin's picture

chub , you sound like one of those San Fran protesters shouting no blood for oil

It has NEVER been about oil. That is a fake misdirection put forth by the Tribe, who owns all of the media things here.

It has ALWAYS been about Israel.

And monetarily Theres far bigger gains in arms development and sales than in plain ole oil.

J Jason Djfmam's picture

Right between the Turks and the Kurds?

That makes us the Turds.

curbjob's picture

Wouldn't it be cheaper to send the Corp of Engineers to build a wall around it  ?

Looney's picture

 

... or freeze it like Fukushima?  ;-)

Looney

BullyBearish's picture

If they can make self-driving cars, they need to make self-firing artillery so this guy can come home and not lose his life for bankers...

flaminratzazz's picture

anyone that joins the military to murder people for the jews is a fvkin idiot and needs to be eliminated anyway.

CPL's picture

No way man, don't waste good engineers on that stuff when there is a new boss coming in after they wack trump to give them orders. 

They want all the men that can fight out of your country and dumped in the middle of nowhere with no way to get back home.  You have to understand the people that govern these places honestly have no respect for their slaves, why would they, they are slaves.  So they'll drop all of someone else's soldiers in the middle of a declining oil patch worth next to nothing with a couple of slaves to kick around.  It keeps you bunch distracted while they perform a Islam-bypass right into the hearts of all your nations all the meanwhile all the armed forces are out looking at dunes.

Fact is the ECB sold you all down the river in 1996, because that was their plan.  They absolutely detest all of you, how you conduct your business, the fact you do any business.  So part of the long range plan was to throw all of you and their own great grandchildren under the bus for a couple of jew shekles by disarming all of NATO.  The fact is, it's already too late. 

Professional advice here: I would start getting the women in all your families fitted for burka's and take them out of school.  They are now going to be used to breed more soldiers of Islam.  Unlike you pussies, these guys like to slap the women around.

crazzziecanuck's picture

Actually, I expect the USA wants to keep the war running.

Can't get a much better ISIS recruitment ad than the following: "Kill Americans in Syria."

If there had been a lull in ISIS recruitment, it's gone now.