*As mentioned previously if Aleppo was to be taken back by Syria- The US and Kurds would need Raqqa for leverage over Damascus. It seems the US backed terrorists will lose Aleppo.We see today Aleppo has been taken back. Making the move on Raqqa a necessity
Centcom: US Backed SDF Initiate Next Phase of Raqqa Isolation
SOUTHWEST ASIA, Dec. 12, 2016 — The Syrian Democratic Forces on Dec. 10 announced the start of the next phase of their operation to isolate the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa, U.S. Central Command officials reported today.All typos belong to Centcom
The SDF -- made up in (teeny, tiny) part by local Arabs and its coalition –rained-and-equipped Arab component, the Syrian Arab Coalition, and supported by coalition advisors and airstrikes -- began the operation to isolate Raqqa on Nov. 5, officials said.
In their march toward Raqqa, the SDF has liberated dozens of villages and more than 700 square miles of ISIL-held terrain, Centcom officials said, adding that local Arab fighters continue to join the SDF and fight to liberate their own land.
During the initial phase of isolation efforts, officials said, the coalition’s Syrian partners have proven their ability in battle, pushing ISIL back and destroying ISIL heavy weapons, vehicles, fortifications, bomb-making facilities, vehicle bombs, armored vehicles, technical vehicles, bridges, decoys and caches.
The coalition supports the SDF through training, advise-and-assist operations, airstrikes and material support to the Syrian Arab Coalition, officials said. Since the start of the operation, they added, the coalition conducted more than 300 strikes delivering more than 850 munitions in support of its partners on the ground to enable the isolation of Raqqa and defeat of ISIL in Syria”
Related: There must be an issue with manpower and a sense of urgency?
Carter Pledges Extra US Forces
Transcript from Video
NATURAL ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION The United States will send 200 additional military personnel including special forces to the campaign against Islamic State in Syria to create a "tornado" of pressure against the group's Raqqa hub, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Saturday (December 10). Carter, speaking in Bahrain to regional security chiefs, twinned the announcement with a call on Middle East allies to do more for their own defence, a sore topic with some Gulf states who resent being seen by Washington as military "free riders". The arrival of the 200 additional forces in Syria, joining 300 special forces already there backing local allies, would bring to bear the "full weight of U.S. forces around the theatre of operations like the funnel of a giant tornado", Carter said at the Manama Dialogue security conference.500 American troops in total