Additional units of marines from an amphibious task force have been dispatched to Syria in order to participate in the liberation of Raqqa city.
The US has dispatched additional units of marines from an amphibious task force to Syria to participate in the liberation of the city of Raqqa, which is considered to be the capital of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group in the Syrian Arab Republic, the Washington Post newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing sources in the US Defense Department.
Earlier, the US claimed that there are 500 servicemen of the US Special Forces in Syria, who train and advise units, fighting against terrorists.
According to unnamed sources of the newspaper, the new units of the US Marine Corps, deployed in Syria, include artillery batteries of the M777 155-mm howitzers, which should provide fire support to troops during the assault of Raqqa. In addition, additional units of marines will provide security for US servicemen, as well as will become a part of the logistic scheme for supply of the expeditionary forces.
On Tuesday, the AP news agency also reported, citing its own unnamed sources, that several hundreds of US marines have been deployed in Syria in the framework of preparation for the operation to liberate the Syrian city of Raqqa from the IS.
The news agency noted that the presence of US marines in Syria will be temporary. According to AP, heavy artillery, including the M777 howitzers, were also deployed in the country along with US military.
According to the RIA Novosti news agency, the Pentagon said that for security reasons the US would not comment on the deployment of its troops in Syria.
Earlier, on March 4, the Washington Post reported, citing sources in the White House, that the Pentagon had proposed a new plan for an offensive on the Syrian city of Raqqa. As the newspaper’s sources said, the plan envisaged strengthening of the US contingent, deployed on the territory of the country.
In particular, they meant an abolition of the limitation of the number of military advisors and US Special Forces‘ soldiers. The Pentagon’s plan provided that they would have to be closer to the front line, though not to take direct part in the fighting. In addition, according to the sources, the Defense Department proposed to send additional weapons, including attack helicopters and artillery, to Kurdish and opposition troops.