US says will send additional 200 troops to Syria

Orient Net - Agencies | 2016-12-10 11:00 Damascuss

US Special Operations Forces in a village near al-Raqqa in May (AFP)
The United States is going to send 200 additional military personnel to Syria to help Kurdish fighters of the so-called Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) for the battle of al-Raqqa, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter has said.

Carter, who was speaking in Bahrain at the Manama Dialogue conference on Middle East security, said that the 200 troops, which include Special Forces trainers, advisers, and explosive-ordnance-disposal teams, will join the 300 US Special Forces already in Syria.

The Defense Secretary also added that Russia, which has waged an air campaign in support of Assad since September 2015, had only inflamed the war and prolonged the suffering of the Syrians.

The announcement comes as Assad regime and Russian warplanes pounded Aleppo’s last opposition-held neighborhoods. 

US officials will meet later on Saturday with their Russian counterparts in Geneva to try to stop Aleppo "being absolutely, completely destroyed," US Secretary of State John Kerry said.