Turkey sees a threat in United States plan against ISIS in Raqqa, Syria

Posted March 13, 2017

Although several hundred United States special forces troops have been active in the area for some months now, the move marks the largest deployment of America's conventional forces in Syria since the civil war began six years ago.

"Our indigenous partners in Syria face an entrenched foe and, like the Iraqis, will require additional support to enable them to fight and defeat ISIS in Raqqa", he said.

Around 71 YPG Kurdish militia members got killed in the past week in Syria, Turkish army said on Friday, 10 March.

The Marine mission has similarities to an operation the Marine Corps undertook about a year ago when the USA military was preparing to support an assault on the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Though the USA has been hoping to include both Turkey and the battle-hardened Kurdish forces, Yildirim insisted Turkey wouldn't be part of any operation including the Syrian Kurdish force known as the YPG, considered by Ankara to be terrorists who threaten Turkey's security.

Now with both USA forces and Russian advisers in the area, Turkey is not letting up, she said.

"The number of our forces is now increasing, particularly from among the people of the area, and we have enough strength to liberate Raqqa with support from the coalition forces", Jihan Sheikh Ahmed said in a statement. They are preparing to move in to assault the city of Raqqa, IS's self-declared capital, according to reports. The US-led coalition fighting IS in Syria and Iraq said earlier this month that its raids had unintentionally killed at least 220 civilians since 2014 in both countries.

"Are we deploying Marines in Syria at the request or with the permission of the Syrian government?" Sen.

McCain warns Pentagon of Turkey-YPG conflict in Syria
That followed an agreement with Russian Federation to pre-empt an attempt by Turkish-led forces to take Manbij, Reuters reported . In January, the SDF was provided by the USA with armored vehicles for the first time ahead of the planned Raqqa offensive.

Assad dismissed the US -backed military campaign against Islamic State in Syria as "only a few raids" he said had been conducted locally. "The problem is it will be a huge gamble to really do that with US, Russia and YPG, who are a proficient fighting force". He said a complicating factor is that the US does not have a partner government to work with in Syria as is the case in Iraq.

The clashes were the first reported between the parties since the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) handed over villages west of the town of Manbij to the regime after Turkey threatened to attack if they stay in the area.

In Syria, where members of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit with M777 155mm howitzers have deployed within firing range of Raqqa, Votel said additional us conventional forces are likely to be needed for the aftermath of the eventual assault on the self-proclaimed capital of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Turkey warned the US on Thursday that relations between the two countries would suffer if Kurdish forces are included in the battle for Raqqa.

The United States is considering deploying up to 1,000 soldiers to Kuwait as a reserve force in the fight against ISIS in the region, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican and the committee chairman, warned of the potential for a "train wreck" at Manbij if the Turks carry out repeated threats to attack Syrian Kurdish fighters backed by the U.S.

Meanwhile, Rami Abdul-Rahman, the head of the Observatory monitor group, said that the major battle for Raqqa is "very close".