The US military is deploying a new Marine Corps artillery unit to Syria, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, Army Maj. Josh T. Jacques, according to Marine Corps Times.
The unit is arriving the war-torn country in order to support the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the ongoing operation against ISIS in the countryside of Raqqah and an expected storm of the ISIS self-proclaimed capital.
“Jacques declined to identify the unit now in Syria, but the Defense Department has previously announced that the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit is in the region on a scheduled deployment with the Bataan amphibious ready group.
On April 23, the 24th MEU posted a picture on its Facebook page showing Marines assigned to Fox Battery, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines firing M777 A2 howitzers at an artillery range outside Camp Buehring, Kuwait.The artillery unit recently replaced about 400 Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which provided artillery support to Kurdish and Syrian Arab forces expected to launch an offensive against Raqqa, officials said.Those Marines are expected to return to Camp Pendleton, California, this week after a seven-month deployment, said 11th MEU spokesman Maj. Craig Thomas. The bulk of the MEU arrived at Pendleton between May 11 and 13,” Marine Corps Times’ article reads.
As forecasted earlier, the US has been pushed to increase its ground operations in northern Syria and arms supplies to the Kurdish-dominated SDF in order to implement its plan aimed at isolating the ISIS-held city of Raqqah.