The United States will send 200 additional ground troops to Syria to assist Kurdish forces mobilizing for an offensive to retake Raqqa from the Islamic State, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Saturday.

Carter said the troops will join the 300 Special Operations forces already in Syria working to recruit, train, and advise local forces to combat the terrorist group, the New York Times reported.

The Obama administration anticipates the reinforcements will help culminate “the full weight of U.S. forces around the theater of operations, like the funnel of a giant tornado,” Carter said during remarks at an annual security gathering in Manama, Bahrain.

“By combining our capabilities with those of our local partners, we’ve been squeezing ISIL by applying simultaneous pressure from all sides and across domains, through a series of deliberate actions to continue to build momentum,” he said, referring to the Islamic State.

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