200 More US Troops for Raqqa Offensive

200 More US Troops for Raqqa Offensive200 More US Troops for Raqqa Offensive

The United States will send another 200 troops to Syria to help an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters seize the IS bastion of Raqqa, US defense secretary, Ashton Carter, has said.

“I can tell you today that the United States will deploy approximately 200 additional US forces in Syria,” Carter told Persian Gulf policymakers in the Bahraini capital, Manama, on Saturday.

They will complement 300 American Special Forces already in Syria to assist US-backed Kurdish-Arab troops who, in recent weeks, began their offensive on Raqqa, the Syrian stronghold of the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group.

According to Aljazeera, the operation coincides with a US-backed Iraqi effort to retake Mosul.

The two cities are the last major urban centers under IS control after the group suffered a string of territorial losses in Iraq and Syria over the past year.

Carter told the Manama Dialogue security forum that the troop reinforcements will include bomb disposal experts and trainers, as well as Special Forces.

Car bombs and elaborate networks of booby traps and mines have been IS’s favored weapons, as they have battled to hold on to the shreds of their so-called “caliphate” they declared across Iraq and Syria in 2012.

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