|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] slow Vietnam like creep into Syrian civil war
|U.S. to Send 200 More Troops to Syria in ISIS Fight
By ERIC SCHMITTDEC. 10, 2016
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Oil tankers suspected of belonging to the Islamic State moments before
they were hit by airstrikes in central Syria on Thursday. Credit U.S.
Department of Defense/European Pressphoto Agency
MANAMA, Bahrain — The United States is sending 200 additional troops to
Syria, nearly doubling the Pentagon’s presence there, to help thousands
of Kurdish and Arab fighters massing for an assault on the Islamic
State’s stronghold of Raqqa, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said
here on Saturday.
Mr. Carter said the reinforcements would include American commandos and
bomb-squad specialists. They will join the 300 Special Operations forces
already working in eastern Syria to recruit, train and advise local
Syrian militias to combat the Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS.
“This latest commitment of additional forces within Syria is another
important step in enabling our partners to deal ISIL a lasting defeat,”
Mr. Carter told a security conference here.
The deployment of more American troops to Syria, which Mr. Carter said
President Obama had approved in recent days, comes as questions are
arising in the Middle East and in Washington about the level of support
President-elect Donald J. Trump will maintain for rebel groups in Syria
combating the Islamic State and others fighting the government of
President Bashar al-Assad.
Mr. Trump has expressed a desire to work with Russia and the Syrian
government to defeat the Islamic State, rejecting the rebels by saying
that “we have no idea who these people are.”
The battle for Raqqa — the de facto capital of the extremist group’s
self-declared caliphate — is entering a crucial phase as a coalition of
45,000 fighters, including more than 13,000 Arabs, has moved within 15
miles of the city. Their initial goal is to encircle the city and
largely cut off the resupply of arms, supplies and fighters, American
In the last month, the American-led air campaign has carried out nearly
300 airstrikes around Raqqa, including attacks last week that destroyed
188 oil tanker trucks, the largest strikes of their kind in the two-year
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