A few hundred U.S. Marines have been sent into Syria with heavy artillery guns, as coalition forces prepare to retake the city of Raqqa from the Islamic State terror group, a U.S. official told the Associated Press on Wednesday. The Marines will also re-position howitzers for Syrian forces during the temporary deployment, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. In addition to the Raqqa fight, the U.S. is gearing up to send several more hundred troops to Kuwait to assist in fighting the terrorist group, if needed, he said. The news comes after the Pentagon announced the deployment of dozens of U.S. troops to the city of Manbij, outside Aleppo, earlier this week, and it’s widely viewed as a sign the Pentagon has been given more power and flexibility to make combat decisions in the fight against ISIS without the White House’s direct oversight.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 9, 2017