While reiterating that the US deployments in Syria continue to be without permission from or coordination with the Syrian government, President Bashar al-Assad said he remains hopeful that President Trump will follow through on promises to prioritize the fight with ISIS.
At the same time, Assad said he hasn’t seen anything concrete from the US troops on the ground suggesting they are increasing their action against ISIS, but held out hope that they will eventually do so.
In recent days, the US has sent some 400 troops to Syria, some of them deployed to Manbij to try to keep Turkey from invading the Kurdish-held city, with some US Marines also deployed around Raqqa with howitzers. So far, it doesn’t appear they are firing at ISIS forces in Raqqa yet.
The US is also sending some 2,500 troops to Kuwait, with an eye toward those troops being available to deploy in either Iraq or Syria. This is likely to mean more US troops heading to Syria, though exactly when is unclear. In the meantime, the fight for Raqqa appears to be slow going.
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