Defense Secretary: U.S. Will Deploy 200 More Troops to Fight ISIL





As many as 200 additional American troops will be deployed to Syria to assist local forces in ousting the Islamic State from Raqqa, the de facto capital of the extremist group’s self-styled caliphate, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Saturday.
In a security conference in Manama, Bahrain, Carter confirmed that the extra troops will include special operations forces and help with the recruitment and organization efforts to combat the Islamic State, also referred to as ISIS or ISIL, in the region. Carter said President Obama approved the troop additions last week, the Associated Press reported.
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“By combining our capabilities with those of our local partners, we’ve been squeezing ISIL by applying simultaneous pressure from all sides and across domains, through a series of deliberate actions to continue to build momentum,” the Associated Press quoted Carter as saying in his address to the IISS Manama Dialogues.




The U.S.-led coalition has made strides in loosening the Islamic State's grip in the region. Earlier this week, U.S. warplanes destroyed a fleet of 168 oil tanker trucks in Syria in the largest strike in the two-year-old air campaign. More than 20 aircraft were used to destroy the tanker trucks, which were gathered near Palmyra, in central Syria.
The oil in the trucks was worth about $2 million, the U.S.-led coalition said in a statement.




Coalition aircraft have destroyed hundreds of tanker trucks and disabled infrastructure used to pump and refine oil to weaken the terror group's revenue. U.S.-backed ground forces in Iraq and Syria have won back a number of key towns and cities over the past year.
Iraqi security forces are currently battling to drive militants out of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city.