US Commandos to take on IS in Syria

Pentagon has announced the deployment of American commandos on the ground where they will engage and target IS in Syria as well as neighboring Iraq. These forces will have the support of local fighters also working against the extremist group.

Ash Carter: IS in Syria

The Defense Chief of America, Ash Carter stated on Thursday that 200 US commandos had been deployed in the Middle East who are engaged in raiding and fighting IS in Syria and Iraq. The mission of these commandos is very clear: kill or capture IS targets wherever they find them.

Ash carter added that US forces had already established contacts with other forces on the ground that shares the same objectives. He further revealed that US commandos have established communication channels with local fighter who are motivated to fight IS in Syria. These fighters are very capable and assist US troops in finding targets for airstrikes and even ground raids.

Carter revealed that:

We now have a specialized expeditionary targeting force in place that is preparing to work with the Iraqis to begin mounting sudden, long-range raids, going after ISIL’s fighters and commanders, killing or capturing them wherever we find them, along with other key targets.”

The chief of Pentagon met with senior military officers from a host of countries including Britain, Germany, France, Australia, Netherlands and Italy. The objective of these meetings was to prepare a formal strategy for fighting IS in Syria and Iraq.

The need of the hour is to have a campaign plan on paper that all the countries in the coalition understand and agree with. Besides, it must be very effective. Obviously, Americans have their eyes fixed on Raqqa and Mosul – the de facto capital of IS in Syria, and the second largest city of Iraq.

Liberating these two cities from the clutches of the extremist organization may offer Barack Obama one last chance to deal a severe blow to IS before his second term in the White House ends.

The Pentagon chief made it clear that the fight against IS in Syria may well go beyond the two Middle Eastern countries. This could be deemed an implied statement that the drone strikes being regularly carried out in Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere may also expand in geographical scope to battlefields that are not yet officially declared.

Thus far, American efforts in the fight against IS in Syria have been confined to airstrikes only. In fact, the strikes in Syria are much less in number in scope than they are in neighboring Iraq.

This coincided with the state US policy of ‘Iraq First.’ However, a push on the city of Raqqa – the de facto capital of IS in Syria – will usher in a new phase of war that will see direct American involvement in the conflict.

America has also assured Iraqis of its support in taking the second largest city, Mosul. The city fell to ISIS in 2014 catapulting the extremist group to International attention.


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Bill Schroder

Bill Schroder is a Beirut-based correspondent for The World Beast. He has reported from over a dozen countries in the Middle East for such publications. Follow: Tweets by @SchroderBill