|U.S. Air Force photo; Sgt. Joshua J. Garcia /Released|
Secretary of Defense James Mattis’s proposed plan to retake the Islamic State capital of Raqqa, calls for a significant increase in the U.S. military presence in Syria.
The proposal would lift the current cap on U.S. special operators embedded with local forces, The Washington Post reports. The proposal would also include the use of U.S. attack helicopters, U.S. artillery, and increased arms sales to U.S.-backed forces.
|Syrian Democratic Forces near Raqqa|
The main recipient of U.S. aid will likely be the Syrian Democratic Forces, an anti-ISIS force largely composed of Syrian Kurdish fighters. American reliance on Syrian Kurds will likely spark major tensions between the U.S. and Turkey, who regard the Kurdish forces as an existential threat on par with ISIS. The Kurdish forces have proven the only reliable, large-scale U.S.-backed force capable of fighting the terrorist group effectively.Read the rest of the story HERE.
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