US Marines arrive in Syria to join war against Islamic State

The US-backed fighters are preparing to move in the coming weeks to assault the city of Raqqa, IS' self-declared capital.

Published: 09th March 2017 10:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th March 2017 10:23 AM   |  A+A-

Syria, civil war, Aleppo

A Syrian army soldier places a Syrian national flag during a battle with rebel fighters east of Aleppo. (File Photo | AP)


DAMASCUS: US Marines arrived in northern Syria with artillery to support Washington-backed local forces fighting the Islamic State (IS) terror group, according to top officials.

The US-backed fighters are preparing to move in the coming weeks to assault the city of Raqqa, IS' self-declared capital, the officials told CNN on Wednesday. 

However, the Pentagon and the Marine Corps have declined to confirm the deployment due to security concerns in the region. They have also declined to specify the exact location of the forces or how many are there.

The deployment of the Marines was revealed in a Washington Post report on Wednesday.

"The deployment marks a new escalation in the US war in Syria, and puts more conventional American troops in the battle," the report said.

The force is part of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which left San Diego on Navy ships in October. 

The Marines on the ground include part of an artillery battery that can fire powerful 155-millimeter shells from M777 Howitzers, the officials said on the condition of anonymity.

A similar deployment last year near Mosul, Iraq involved several hundred Marines equipped with artillery guns that fire shells to provide covering fire for advancing forces, CNN reported.

This is the second major expansion of US ground forces in northern Syria with over 100 Army Rangers were deployed in and around Manbij, Syria.

IS could have as many as 4,000 fighters in Raqqa, according to US estimates.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp