Syria: US Special Forces help rebels capturing Shadadi

27th Feb 2016
Syria: US Special Forces help rebels capturing Shadadi

WASHINGTON (AA) — U.S. Special Forces in Syria have helped a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) rebel group move into the northeastern town of Shadadi held by Daesh, a U.S. coalition spokesman said Friday.

“We have advisers with the SDF as we have had a small group of advisers inside Syria that are connected to the SDF,” said Col. Christopher Garver.

“They provide a planning and coordinating function for them.” Garver said special forces have assisted by calling in airstrikes to allow the rebel group to move forward much more quickly.

U.S. forces are within miles of the battle, Garver said, but they’re not on the ground with the Syrian rebels and not close enough to be able to see the front lines.

“They operate at the next higher headquarters,” he said. “They are not down on the ground with the fighters or in the lower echelon headquarters.”

He also told reporters that the U.S. has resupplied the Syrian Arab Coalition (SAC) that is fighting Daesh as a part of SDF. During the Shadadi operation, the U.S. has resupplied SAC a couple of times with ammunition.

The SDF is a mixed group the Pentagon describes as including YPG militants, Christians and Arabs who joined forces to fight Daesh.

The group has been moving into Shadadi in the southern outskirts of Hasakeh province, since last weekend.

The SDF is controversial because the majority of its fighters consists of YPG militants who are linked to the PKK terrorist organization.

The U.S. supports the YPG in the fight against Daesh, while Turkey, a U.S. ally in NATO, considers the PYD a terror outfit.

Garver said 6,000 SDF members took part in the Shadadi offensive but 20 were killed during the operation, while an estimated 250 Daesh militants were killed.

“Still a lot of clearing operations that needs to go on for the SDF to move in that city,” he said.

According to Garver, capturing Shadadi will help the coalition cut Daesh’s lines of communication between Raqqa and Mosul.

The rebels have cleared about 75 percent of the city, he said, adding that the coalition conducted about 80 airstrikes on Daesh targets.

 

Author Kasım İleri

 

[Photo: Syria armed rebel Mutasim brigade attacks Daesh near Harbe village in Aleppeo on 20 December 2015. Photographer: Huseyin Nasir/AA]

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