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Marines Deployed To Syria To Assist In Assault On ISIS Stronghold

Marines Deployed To Syria To Assist In Assault On ISIS Stronghold

The Trump administration is signaling its readiness to put "boots on the ground" in Syria and Iraq to defeat the Islamic State and secure a stronger place for the United States in the negotiations on the future of both countries.

Syria has called on the United Nations and the Security Council to oblige Turkey to immediately withdraw its "invading forces" from the Syrian territory, stop cross-border attacks and maintain regional and global security and stability. Earlier this week, US intelligence reported that ISIS leaders are attempting to leave the city, where there are about 4,000 ISIS terrorists. The group's leaders are also reportedly fleeing the city in anticipation of the advance, relocating to the relative safety of ISIS-occupied Deir al-Zour province. It may be just the first of many, as the battle for the vitally important city heats up.

But despite the buildup of anti-ISIS forces and extensive planning, the actual offensive to retake Raqqa may still not be coming soon. Obama addressed the US defense strategy during a press conference at the G-20 summit in 2015.

Kurdish groups have had to fend off rebel attacks throughout the civil war, as well as from ISIS.

Turkey launched an operation to drive Islamic State away from its border with Syria in August, and has said that it would strike the USA -backed YPG if necessary to prevent them seizing territory there.

Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has fought a three-decade insurgency against the Turkish government.

In preparation of the fight to push ISIL out of its Raqqa headquarters, a couple of hundred Marines have been deployed.

Rolling around 200 Marines backed with howitzers into northern Syria, the United States is shifting from working quietly behind the scenes in Syria's conflict, turning instead toward overt displays of U.S. force in an attempt to shape the fight.

Yildirim sourly dismissed the US action in Manbij as a "flag race" and said, "it is a pity that it has come to this".

"We are preparing logistical and fire support to enable a successful assault on Raqqa, the self-proclaimed capital of ISIS", said Colonel John Dorrian, a spokesman for the US-led command that is fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Over the weekend, a separate force of elite U.S. Army Rangers was deployed to the city of Manbij to the north west of Raqqa, in heavily armored vehicles called Strykers.

Abdul-Rahman added that the Kurdish-led groups and the backing USA forces have besieged Raqqa from several directions. On March 2 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said "after the liberation of al-Bab from Daesh [ISIS] terrorsts, Turkey's new target in Syria is Manbij".

A Democratic lawmaker is introducing a bill to block additional US forces from being sent into Syria after an amphibious task force of Marines landed in Syria for the first time.

Despite the many complications, the USA remains focused on Raqqa. The vote will determine whether President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will gain greater powers under a US -style executive presidency.

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