The American military’s war on the Islamic State is about to dramatically escalate with a siege of Raqqa, the Syrian city that serves as the de facto capital and chief stronghold of ISIS, according to a U.S. military spokesperson.
Army Col. John Dorrian, the spokesperson for Operation Inherent Resolve, the name given to the mission to defeat ISIS, told reporters in Baghdad that “ultimately we're isolating Raqqa and we are going to, at a time that our partners choose, move in and liberate that city from" the Islamic State,according to the Associated Press.
The “partners” in this case refer largely to the Syrian Democratic Forces, the U.S.-backed moderate Syrian rebels that have been trained and equipped by the American military. Just this week,Reuters reported that Syrian Democratic Forces advanced to within a mile of a key ISIS stronghold called Tabqa, just 25 miles outside of Raqqa, and repelled and ISIS counterassault in the process.
"For now, the target in front of our eyes is the city of Tabqa, and the dam," Gharib Rasho, an official for the Syrian Democratic Forces, told Reuters. Rasho was additionally referring to a nearby dam on the Euphrates River.
The Syrian Democratic Forces’ offensive to retake Raqqa began in November 2016, as part of the strategy to combat the Islamic State outlined by the Obama administration. The Trump administration has yet to unveil a new strategy to defeat ISIS, but the proposal delivered to the administration from the Pentagon last month has been described as an “intensification” of the Obama administration strategy, according toa report from NBC News.
For now, it remains unclear if the U.S.-supported coalition will continue to advance against ISIS in Syria, and what the specific time table could be for the eventual siege and fall of Raqqa. According to the report from Reuters, it could be a matter of weeks, or a matter of months.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Karl Munson pilots a 26-foot boat while Petty Officer 2nd Class Gabriel Diaz keeps an eye on a boarding team who is inspecting a 79-foot shrimp boat in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of New Orleans, La., on April 27, 2005
Radio transmissions to the U.S. Coast Guard are usually calls for help from boaters, but one captain got on the radio recently just to say thanks to the men and women who are currently working without pay.
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Saturday to receive the remains of four Americans killed in a suicide bombing in northern Syria.
Trump, locked in a battle with congressional Democrats that has led to a nearly month-long partial government shutdown, announced his trip via a pre-dawn tweet, saying he was going "to be with the families of 4 very special people who lost their lives in service to our Country!"
Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.
In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.