US Mulls Sending 1000 More Troops into Syria

Syrian government army and militia fight for Palmyra

The discussed deployment could potentially double the number of American forces in Syria, although they would not, at least initially, serve a combat role.

To strengthen its hold in Syria against the Islamic State group militants, the US military has plans to deploy up to 1,000 more troops into northern Syria in the coming weeks.

That's why Army Rangers were seen on social media last week flying a USA flag off the back of their Stryker armored vehicles and Humvees, said Col. John Dorrian, the Baghdad-based spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve. Turkey has declared the YPG a terrorist organization and considers it to be linked to its own home-grown Kurdish insurgency.

Pro-Syrian regime Russian forces are also in the city now, Dorrian said, and US forces are flying the flag "to make sure that there is no mistake or miscalculation about who is there".

The close proximity has resulted in increased use of a U.S.

"I expected Kurdish fighters to be involved in liberating Raqqa at some level".


Several foreign fighters volunteering with Kurdish groups such as the People's Protection Units (YPG) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been killed fighting in both Syria and Iraq.

The Rangers in Manbij, however, are there in a "reassurance" role to keep competing elements of Turkish and Kurdish forces from fighting each other. Russia's air and ground forces are fighting a civil war on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Assad while the US and NATO-ally Turkey back separate rebel forces in both the fight against Assad and the anti-Islamic State group's campaign.

Trump, who charged former president Barack Obama with being weak on Syria, gave the Pentagon 30 days to prepare a new counter-Islamic State plan, and Mattis submitted a broad outline to the White House at the end of February.

However, the USA action heightened tensions with Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partner and nominal ally, and sharply exposed the increasingly complex geopolitical rivalries that have emerged in northern Syria.

Russian Federation is not likely to stay out of the push on Raqqa, either. Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi of the military's General Staff said Russian aircraft have carried out 452 airstrikes in support of the Syrian government forces.

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