by John Galt
March 8, 2017 19:00 ET
Just days after this Ruptly video appeared of a US military convoy near Manjib, Syria..
The news breaks tonight that 300 US Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit have been deployed with 155 mm howitzers just outside of Raqqa, Syria; the provisional capital of ISIS. From Military.com:
A defense official would not speak to the size of the detachment deployed to Syria, but said it included elements of multiple artillery batteries, as well as support personnel, including infantry Marines. It’s the first time American artillery support capability has been on the ground in Syria since the fight against the Islamic State began in 2014.
The Marines are equipped with M777 155mm howitzers, which can fire high-explosive rounds, effective at a range of more than 14 miles, or GPS-guided Excalibur rounds, which have an effective radius of up to 25 miles. They are there to provide capabilities for the commanders of the joint task force leading the ISIS fight and to support the push into Raqqa, the official said.
More from Fox News tonight:
A detachment of U.S Marines arrived in Syria outside the ISIS de-facto capital of Raqqa, a U.S. defense official confirmed Wednesday to Fox News.
The Pentagon is not publically confirming the move, citing operational security.
The recent deployment is expected to be discussed Thursday when the head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Joe Votel, the top U.S. general responsible for American forces in the Middle East, appears before Congress to testify on the ISIS fight.
Votel had hinted that more troops would be headed to Syria along with artillary when he spoke to reporters while traveling in the region late last month.
This is a major escalation and with Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Shiite Militias, Kurdish fighters including the PKK, Syrian Arab Army, and Russian Special Forces all operating in the same area, the powder keg has been set up for some extremely dangerous times for our soldiers. Stay tuned as when more video is leaked out by the locals, which always happens, and the offensive on Raqqa begins, the size and scope of American involvement will become clear. Let us hope that Secretary of Defense Mattis and the Russians have specified operational areas so there is no overlap or risk of direct confrontation.