The Defense Department has ordered roughly 200 additional U.S. special operations troops into Syria to support the ongoing campaign to retake Islamic State’s so-called capital of Raqqa, driving the number of American forces in the the country to 500.
Nearly 300 American special operations advisers are already in the country, training and advising members of the Syrian Defense Forces, the umbrella coalition of Arab and Kurdish militia groups in the country picked by Washington to spearhead the assault on Raqqa.
The new U.S. special operations deployment to the country will “ensure the success of isolating Raqqa, generate sufficient local forces to seize.
Raqqa, and deny ISIL sanctuary beyond Raqqa,” Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said during a regional security conference in Bahrain on Saturday.
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