Washington Post: Pentagon plan to seize Raqqa calls for significant increase in US participation
A Pentagon plan for the coming assault on Raqqa, the Islamic State capital in Syria, calls for significant U.S. military participation, including increased Special Operations forces, attack helicopters and artillery, and arms supplies to the main Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighting force on the ground, according to U.S. officials.
The military’s favored option among several variations currently under White House review, the proposal would ease a number of restrictions on U.S. activities imposed during the Obama administration.
Officials involved in the planning have proposed lifting a cap on the size of the U.S. military contingent in Syria, currently numbering about 500 Special Operations trainers and advisers to the combined Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF. While the Americans would not be directly involved in ground combat, the proposal would allow them to work closer to the front line and would delegate more decision-making authority down the military line from Washington.
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WNU Editor: The U.S. strategy to recapture the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa is facing problems .... US forces look on as allies clash in north Syria (AFP). And then there is the long term .... Isis defeat in northern Syria opens deadly new phase in civil war as rebel groups turn on each other (The Independent).
The Growing U.S. Role In Syria
U.S. Strengthens Its Forces in a Crowded Syrian Battlefield -- NYT
Rivals in Syria Race to Assault Militants' 'Capital' Raqqa -- AP
American Stryker Armored Fighting Vehicles Appear Near Syrian Hotspot -- The Drive
US commander says Syrian Arab Coalition is now majority group within SDF -- RUDAW