US sending 400 troops to bolster Raqa offensive
In comments made during a hearing at the Armed Services Senate Committee yesterday in Washington D.C., General Joseph Votel said that USA efforts to prevent a clash between these two opposing forces was not a simple task, and that it would require significant military and diplomatic efforts to contain.
But Turkey's determination to also push back the Kurds is alienating the other big players in Syria " Russia and the United States " and threatens to undermine the fight against IS in the imminent assault on Raqqa.
Turkish Armed Forces said on Friday it killed at least 71 YPG militants in northern Syria over the past week. The plan's consisted of a strategy that would probably increase the number of U.S. troops in to better advise and assist the US-backed Syrian fighters who will go through the battle for Raqqa.
The U.S. backed the YPG in 2015 to recapture areas that fell to the IS in predominantly-Kurdish areas in the northern countryside of Syria's Aleppo province in northern Syria.
Mr Assad said Russian Federation hopes it can bring the U.S. and Turkey into co-operating with Moscow and Damascus in the fight against terrorism in Syria.
Assad dismissed the US -backed military campaign against Islamic State in Syria as "only a few raids" he said had been conducted locally. As the Marines were arriving, the US 75 US Ranger regiment carried out a very visible maneuver, driving around the outskirts of a town called Manbij flying the Stars and Stripes in a show of force to warn off Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies.
The U.S. -led coalition said Wednesday that it was winning the broader war against ISIS.
The United States has worked directly with the YPG in both Syria and Iraq, and Syrian Kurds are considered to be the USA -led coalition's most effective ground partner in Syria.
Additional concern over the use of the SDF forces comes from the 200,000 residents inside Raqqa - mostly Sunni Arabs who fear that a victory for the Kurdish group could lead to forced displacement from their homes.
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United States air force Colonel John Dorrian, spokesman for the US-led coalition, said the coalition was working on simultaneous or overlapping operations in Syria and Iraq.
The coalition said it was investigating the incident.
Last week, after Turkey's president said the rebels aimed to capture Manbij, the council said it had agreed a deal with Russian Federation to hand a string of villages on the frontline over to Syrian government forces in order to protect them.
The SDF had taken the area from Islamic State in 2016.
The newly deployed US troops have been sent to the region to help "whoever is going to take Raqqa", a group that has yet to be determined, the official said.
In-fighting between the Ankara backed rebels and the Kurdish led SDF in Manbij has seen questions raised on the when the offensive on Raqqa could begin.
Kaine noted that Iraq requested USA assistance in ridding the country of ISIS: "But I guess the bottom line is, there is no such request from Syria; we don't judge that - that government capable of making such requests". But the top American commander for the fight against IS has said he's seen "zero evidence" the YPG has posed a recent threat to Turkey.
Maintaining peace between the groups in Manbij will be crucial if they will work together in the battle for Raqqa.
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