It would appear that an attack on the ISIS capital is imminent, with the United States poised to take a key role in the assault. The long awaited battle on Raqqa, Syria seems to be developing as troops prepare to take down the ISIS-controlled town.
The Pentagon has cited that United States troops would not be bearing the brunt of the fighting against ISIS, but it seems that in recent months there have been an increasingly high number of “boots on the ground” in the region. This would suggest that United States troops are planned to be front and center in the upcoming conflict.
Just earlier this week there was a convoy that held a group of United States Army Rangers that were riding in Stryker armored combat machines that crossed into Syria in order to play a supportive role for the Kurdish forces fighting in Manbij. This was significant to see since this was one of the largest on-the-ground actions taken by the United States thus far. Beyond that, most of the help given from the US has been in the form of air strikes, well above the ground.
There is reason to believe that these troops are also setting up to attack Raqqa because of another curious deployment that occurred just yesterday. United States marines out of the 1st Battalion, 4th Marine regiment departed from their ships in order to setup a base within the Syrian borders. The base sits within a short distance of Raqqa, well within striking distance if they chose to attack.
Another major development went a little quieter as United States special operations forces were given leeway to call in precision airstrikes. Before this was granted they had to affirm with the operations center located over in Baghdad, but now they have been given exclusive power to make these determinations.