US Prepares Surprise Assault on Raqqa by Ranger Regiment – Reports

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Units of the 75th Ranger Regiment is going to liberate the Syrian capital of the Islamic State terrorist group.

US Army Rangers, assigned to the 2nd Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment, prepare for extraction from their objective during Task Force Training on Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., Jan. 30, 2014 (Photo: US Army / Spc. Steven Hitchcock)

The Pentagon plans to send units of the 75th Ranger Regiment, which were recently dispatched to Syria, to storm the city of Raqqa, the Izvestiya newspaper reported. In previous months, they were intensively preparing to fight in the urban area. Rangers will jointly operate with marines and Kurdish detachments, which are part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). However, experts doubt that in Raqqa it will be possible to avoid mistakes, which were earlier made during the liberation of Mosul.

As it became known from social networks, in the previous months, the US units, which were sent to Syria this week, were intensively preparing for conducting battles in the urban area. It is supposed that the 3rd Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment will be the main strike force in the upcoming operation on the liberation of Raqqa. Marines, arrived to Syria, will provide artillery support to the forces that will storm the city. Additional reserves concentrate on bases in Kuwait and will be dispatched to the battlefield if the situation demands it.

According to official statements of Pentagon officials, Raqqa should be taken by the SDF, which includes not only Kurdish, but also Arab and Christian formations, as local Arab residents do not trust Kurds, fearing massacres. However, the numerical strength of non-Kurdish detachments does not exceed a couple of thousands, and this is clearly not enough to seize the capital of the self-proclaimed caliphate. The level of their combat training also leaves something to be desired.

Presumably, the storming of Raqqa will be conducted according to the same scenario as in Mosul. At the first stage, the US and local forces will raid the city’s neighborhoods, being a part of mobile armored groups, in order to provoke militants to fire and identify their strongholds. After this, militants should be eliminated by the air power, artillery and unmanned aerial vehicles. In addition, air support will be provided not only by aircraft of the US-led coalition, but also by the Russian Aerospace Forces.

At the second stage, US troops should already not only make sallies into terrorist-controlled neighborhoods, but also capture key facilities there in order to force militants to counterattack. Rangers have been specifically trained to conduct close combat during the past six months on the Fort Benning base and in the National Training Center in California, where there are special units, simulating militants.

As the newspaper noted, such tactics were actively used by rangers in Afghanistan in 2006-2008. They landed in the depths of the Taliban-controlled territory and created strong points in places, where the enemy simply had to attack them. The Taliban lost hundreds of its fighters, however, at the same time, civilians also suffered. For this reason, the Command made a choice in favor of more traditional ways of conducting military operations.

According to observers’ estimates, Raqqa is protected by up to 4,000 fighters, who had three years to prepare the city for defense – to dig underground tunnels for covert transfer of the forces, equip firing points and lay thousands of homemade landmines. In addition, there can be up to 300,000 civilians in the city, whom terrorists will surely use as a human shield.

It is expected that the storming of Raqqa will be started in a few weeks, when the operation for the city’s isolation is completed. At the moment, Kurdish units have bypassed Raqqa from the north along an arc a few tens of kilometers in radius and are approaching the Euphrates.

In this way, the first goal is to take the IS capital into a semi-ring, which will be limited by the deep river from the south. This will allow to cut off terrorists from reinforcements and theoretically give civilians time to flee. Meanwhile, the US Air Force carries out airstrikes on Raqqa’s neighborhoods, bombing strongholds of militants and their military equipment.

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  • PZIVJ1943

    SF: You just screwed up the “SURPRISE” factor in this operation!
    But a very good article :)

    • Nick

      Oh these are the NEW KIND OF (sic!) surprises : everybody knows it.
      Soon we’ll have real-time, live, “surprises”, from helmet-cameras :-))

      Some a++holes think that this is just another Nintendo-game there..

      • PZIVJ1943

        I was being a smart a++, but you seem to be very angry. A good sense of humor and understanding will lower your blood pressure and help you live longer.

  • Jens Holm

    Hard to evaluate, but I dont have to. I believe its right to have special forces like that in urban warfare and they will have loses, but are the only ones, which can win.

    Im still for a slower adavance according Raqqa and would like them to take all open and village/suburb land, before they try the hard part of the town.

    The other very hard thing is to divide civilians in ISIS and not. Many woman actually has joined and are nor yaezedy slaves or something.

    • Bill Wilson

      I have an inkling that the SDF will cross the river by the newly captured nuke lab area to take control of the highways/roads between Deir Azzor and Raqqa. That will make it more difficult for ISIS to send support in either direction plus should draw fighters away from Deir Azzor and other towns/villages along the river to get wasted trying to recapture the roads.

      • abuqahwa

        Yes, as per earlier SF comment: https://southfront.org/us-prepares-surprise-assault-on-raqqa-by-ranger-regiment-reports/, mentioned this
        crossing at Euphrates “strangle/choke” point if mapped
        deployments are correct, SDF/YPG now control main MSR (N7) on left bank,
        now just a short distance to cross Euphrates narrows by intact bridge
        (only 180 meters wide) just 700 meters north of the ancient historic
        Roman/Byzantine fortress (Halabiye ruins) then cut the N4.

        I believe the airstrip will be improved and used to re-inforce/re-supply/sustain joint US/SDF operations, thus blocking ISIS riverine and road traffic. US already
        have at least 6 000 combat troops in theater,(Iraq+Syria) ready to roll . This also explains the real reason behind the mystery US “raid” on 06 JAN 2017, actually a recon-in-force to scope use of the airstrip ( 1100 meters) at 35.74 N 39.83 E on GoogleEarth)

      • Nick

        That will make it more difficult for ISIS to send support in either direction”

        Sure! ;-) …The Syrian Army is very interested that the Yankees have it easy to put their boots PERMANENTLY on Syrian ground, right?
        I rather expect that the Syrians would let the Americans being decimated by the ISIS in bloody streets-fight (filming the civilians casualties the American cause there, TO MAKE THEM SHUT -UP ONCE FOR ALL, with that hypocritical MSM -Propaganda “humanitarian complainings” every time the Syrians take a CIA-goons-town).
        And AFTER THAT the Syrian troops will come to take the city by themselves..

        My I remember you that STALIN waited till the Waffen-SS “cleaned” Warsaw of “western orientated fighters”, before he sent his troops to get the city?
        It’s not in Syrian interest that the Americans succeed there ;-)

      • Jens Holm

        It make sense cutting ISIS any possible way, but as a very defensive person Im for consilidating and good logistiscs.

        First Raqqa should go out of their structure. Its 3 times as big as Al Bab or Manbij and need all the best troops, they can get for it.

        If they have extra troops, I would try to take the heavy fortified Markada in the valley north of Der El Zor which could cut Der el Zor from the heavy populated Eufrat all the way into Iraq.

        Well again – Its not cutting the southern riverbanks, which is usefull, but use less troops – I think.

        Many sensible ways to go. Tabqa would be a good cookie to get as well, but that needs to be taken from behind. Might be so, that SAA not so soon can be taken from behind and be attacked from them as well as SDF. It seems fortified some, but we dont know how many troops they have left.

        We will see if the generals listen to us. I still also hope ISIS not so far away will collapse in stead and they will be contruction worjers the rest of their miserable lives.

    • Nick

      “but are the only ones, which can win”…
      Sure, without AMERICANS IN SYRIA we wouldn’t have such a pretty war.. ;-)

  • Real Anti-Racist Action

    Id ISIS was never really led and created by the United States, then ISIS will do a quick attack 20 kilometers out from their capital and attack that USSA artillery unity that the Marines are manning.
    They can strike quickly like they did to Palmyra months ago.
    If ISIS is really anti-American, then why don’t they go kill 100 US-Imperial-Solders for a change?

    • PZIVJ1943

      The fire base will be very well defended (like a fort).
      ISUS did manage to land some mortar rounds into the one in Iraq.

      • Nick

        “ISIS did manage to land some mortar rounds into the one in Iraq”… giving the Americans a good reason to kick the sh*t out of them after that and to bomb the place to oblivion

        Right? ;-)

        • PZIVJ1943

          No, it just means that the Marine fire base will be well defended.
          I would be more than happy to see SDF/Kurds just isolate Raqqa and then just sit on their asses. Giving time for SAA to take the south shore of the river.

    • Nick

      “They can strike quickly like they did to Palmyra months ago.”

      …And what do you think US -military satellites and drones do all the time there?.

      ISIS could strike in Palmyra BECAUSE of the US air-cover and the Russian insolence taht let it happen- cause the Russians have also espionage-satellites, but Putin does a double-game, not letting Assad to really win: Assad has to be SOLD for a good price => Crimea, NATO-withdrawal from Poland and the Baltic Regions, return to G8-raptors-table as ONE OF THEM , not as prey ON THE TABLE..

  • pao

    The US again where it shouldn’t be…. Sure, provide arms and intelligence to the Kurds allowing them time to cut off any reinforcement above the river, providing time for the Syrian army to do the same south of the river, then go in together. If the US takes it, Kurds will be encouraged to go fully independent from Syria, and thus more slave to US interests than working for solution within Syria.

    • hhabana

      Agreed. Why send our guys in body bags in urban conflict? Supportive roles with artillary, jets and observers.

  • XRGRSF

    As a veteran of the 75th Ranger Infantry I say to my brothers that what you are being ordered to do is contrary to the Unites States Constitution, a violation of international law, and a crime against humanity. I understand your commitment to duty, The Regiment, and your brothers, but you will be forced to live with the consequences of your actions just as I do. THIS IS NOT OUR FIGHT, AND THOSE OF YOU WHO DIE SHALL HAVE DIED FOR NOTHING.

    R.L.T.W., and may God protect you.

    • Tom Red Stevensen

      Its everyones fight…..RLTW

      • abuqahwa

        No, it’s SYRIA fighting for survival here, nothing to do with USA, British, French, or any other NATO forces using our country as a live-fire training ground to wargame and test their weapons. equipment and troops, with zero risk to their home countries. Sick of these foreign “warriors ” strutting around playing at soldiers pretending to fight terrorism while their governments scream “Assad must go “..

        • Tiger Sun

          It’s a war whose inception was funded by the US and NATO whose only interest was to overthrow Assad. It’s time to take responsibility for our mistakes instead of the chicken-shit excuse of blaming someone else.

    • Cerys Davis

      The US ground trooops did not do what is said in the article in Mosul and what be doing it in Raqqua. F. N.

    • MKirk

      ’75th Ranger Infantry’? What Batt were you in and when?

      • Dave Smith

        I smell stolen valor.

      • Tom Red Stevensen

        Me? 1/75 02-04

        • MKirk

          Nope, not you. I’m talking to ‘XRGRSF’ claiming ’75th Ranger Infantry’.

          And I’m ex- B Co 3/75 by the way. Why only two years at 1/75?

          • Tom Red Stevensen

            one enlistment 3 yr contract…

    • Leon Auguste

      Billions of soldiers throughout history have died for nothing. The battle is spiritual. Live a good life on Earth and let God be the judge ultimately. Have a good week everyone. I seriously have to ween myself of this website and do something more productive.

  • Cycloben

    I am assuming they will not hand Raqqa to the legitimate government of Syria…so a potential Salafist principality in the making…mission accomplished.

    The SAA needs to grab a chunk of Raqqa as a bargaining chip and a way to stall partition.

    • john mason

      Syria should just bomb the US in its’ territory and if they complain bomb them some more and if they still complain then set up a terrorist unit in the US and start terrorizing them. Shouldn’t be a problem the UN has made it perfectly clear that International Law is non existent.

      • Nick

        “Syria should just bomb the US…” … and then say “Oh, sorry! We didn’t know that you are IN SYRIA… for that SURPRISE (sic!) attack on Rakka. It wont happen HERE again… (just elsewhere, here we finished you… That’s happening if you sick your nose in Syria again)” ;-)

      • Behold a Pale Horse

        It wont happen because what you are seeing is a play. A movie made for reality. You dont think they could have killed Assad years ago? Come on, this is all just a movie, and people are getting suckered in to think its real. Assad is playing his part, just as the other leaders are.

    • Pave Way IV

      The U.S. is just psycho about Raqqa. ISIS headquarters… blah.. bla… bla… The U.S. has ulterior motives and I’m sure it has to do with permanent U.S. bases and new train & equip programs for anti-Assad forces to continue the bloodshed there. The whole ‘getting rid of ISIS’ story has been BS for so long that I’m almost starting to believe it out of mental fatigue.

      Every country on earth knows exactly how to stop ISIS: send the 75th Rangers to Riyahd and Doha. Level every government building that exists, kill every government leader and then find every last royal family member and Wahhabi cleric and hand them over to the angry commoners to be strung up on lamp posts across the city as a lesson to future ‘leaders’. Confiscate all the wealth of the royals and Wahhabi leaders and distribute it to the people. Ban the practice of Wahhabism under punishment of death and burn down every mosque associated with it. Raqqa? Waste of time – ISIS doesn’t exist without Saudi/UAE/Wahhabi backers. They’re just another street gang otherwise. The locals can take out the trash themselves.

      • abuqahwa

        Good analysis and solution. Unfortunately I believe northern Aleppo will be another Cyprus, Al-Bab another Nicosia, northern Raqqa and Hasakah another Kosovo protectorate and with permanent US bases. I am pessimistic, foreign warmongers content to prolong these wars forever – Bibi Netanyau very happy

    • outer_rl

      Nah, Trump isn’t going to make Raqqa a salafist principality. If the Kurds take it, they’ll add it to their communist people’s republic.

      • Tiger Sun

        Kurds aren’t communist.

        • outer_rl

          When they took over and established Rojava in 2012, the PYD put in place a “peoples economy plan”, arranging for the establishment of collective farms, and giving the state authority over private property. This is, in common parlance, communism.

          • Tiger Sun

            That’s partly correct. The rule in Rojava is ownership by occupation and a lot of Rojava has been abandoned by people who fled the country for Europe so the land is then set up as a sort of collective but at the same time, you are still allowed to own property and build wealth and the “state” does not have authority over private property because the social contract of Rojava does not allow it. In fact, the ideology does not believe in a state, which is why they changed the name from the “Federation of Northern Syria–Rojava” to “Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria.”

  • sagbotgamot

    that’s what the americans are good for. when the enemy is already weak they would come take the glory. by the way same americans who provide arms and trainings to the now “enemy” called ISIS/Daesh.

    • Nexusfast123

      I struggle to think of anything they are good on the international stage.

      • abuqahwa

        Porn movies perhaps ?

        • Dave Smith

          Killing Hajis;-)

      • Brad Isherwood

        https://www.rt.com/usa/266404-us-base-anbar-iraq/
        US continue to wrestle with Shia/Iranian influence in Iraq.
        Either Sunni would rather jihad for Saudi Qatar pay,…than join up
        With Uncle Shlomo.
        US need the Kurds now to play the Game vs the Shia,…which in
        Syria is Hezbollah, IRGC and Alawite.
        Iraq had Trump boasting he would take their oil….
        Iraqi oil is on USD…so that’s what counts to the Deep State.
        Others in the region not selling on USD means knock their production
        Out,…which means pipelines.
        Saudi Qatar will whore oil/nat gas on USD.
        US are sending forces back into Afghanistan, …and rumor
        They are going back into Libya…saying ISIS is making a comeback.

  • Dejan

    USA will do anything just to took Raqqa before SAA bcs its only big city in SDF held teritory

    • outer_rl

      I’d be surprised if they actually go through with this, they could lose a lot of soldiers to booby traps, snipers and roadside bombs. My guess is they are still just containing the situation and waiting for the SAA to take it.

  • Tyrant Fashister

    There are no kebab civilians.Let the bodies hit the floor.Revenge for Cologne !

  • Valery Grigoryev

    At last they’ve decided not to procrastinate but to do something practical…
    Go ahead, America!
    Russia would help if anything…no matter that you dislike us:)

    • Nick

      Just sh*t-up, Shlomo.

      • Valery Grigoryev

        Morons were not asked:)

  • Nick

    “US Prepares Surprise Assault on Raqqa by Ranger Regiment – Reports”

    .. Yeah! THIS will be a surprise for the ISIS ;-)…
    Please don’t tell it further, the boogiemen might hear about it …
    :-))))))

    • abuqahwa

      yes, I mean ISIS have had “only” six months to prepare and improve their defenses since US grand announcements SDF Op Euphrates Wrath, plus I guess ISIS never listens to constant US telling the world their great strategies NOT ! :-))

  • MKirk

    Who writes this drivel?

    • Nick

      Worse is that WE READ IT :-)))))

  • Behold a Pale Horse

    I doubt this will be a liberation. Land grab more like.

  • Free man

    US should not send troops to fight in Syria. They didn’t learn from their bitter experience in Iraq. They will always be considered as an unwanted invaders in Syria.

  • Garry Compton

    If the US doesn’t lose a hundred troopers then Isis has been paid to leave them have a small portion of the Suburbs.

  • watcher12

    Here is a remarkably good article about all these groups so desiring to save people (other than the invited Russians, Iranians, Hezbollah the Palestinian militia). It’s short but well worth the read – http://journal-neo.org/2017/03/12/high-comedy-and-the-fall-of-raqqah/

    • john mason

      Good article. US attempting to liberate Raqqa only after their proxy and covert hierarchy are safely evacuated. Be another mess like the Mosul campaign.

  • john mason

    Can’t be a surprise if you advertise it. So who is going to lead from the front, won’t be the US they are trained and used to fighting from behind.

  • donleejr

    Are you guys stupid or something? Why the hell would you post an article like this? Blow the element of surprise and get Rangers killed? Might as well be digging in with ISIS. OPSEC….

    • john mason

      it is intentionally done, Rangers not invited and like all gate crashes you find ways of getting rid of them.

  • Bill Rood

    Why refer to this as the “liberation” of Raqqa. It is the “fall” of Raqqa, no?

    • Antikapitalista

      Well, actually, the proper term is “conquering”. Both of your terms are loaded with propaganda, although, indeed, the former more so than the latter.

      • Bill Rood

        I was simply drawing attention to the hypocrisy of Western media, which referred to the Syrian government’s capture of E. Aleppo as the “fall” of Aleppo, but refer to the future capture of Raqqa as its “liberation.” Throwing in a 3rd term not used by any media simply adds needless confusion.

  • Mazzdark

    not a surprise any more, is it…..?