After months of planning and deliberations, the 75th Ranger Regiment has been deployed to Syria to participate in the war against ISIS as the coalition closes in on the so-called caliphate’s capital city of Raqqa. Yesterday, the first images emerged of Stryker armored vehicles on their way to Manbij.
This comes weeks after Rangers deployed to the theater with their Strykers and elements of the 75th Ranger Regiment had been passing through Kurdistan.
By looking at the call sign tag on the back of the Stryker, it is evident that this is 3rd Ranger Battalion out of Fort Benning, Georgia, which has been confirmed via other sources. 3/75 has often spearheaded incursions into foreign countries for the Regiment, such as a conducting combat jumps into Afghanistan and Iraq during the invasions.
The reason for this is because 3/75 is co-located on Fort Benning with the Regimental headquarters, making planning and coordinating easier since the other two Ranger battalions are stationed at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia and Fort Lewis, Washington.
A Pentagon plan for the coming assault on Raqqa, the Islamic State capital in Syria, calls for significant U.S. military participation, including increased Special Operations forces, attack helicopters and artillery, and arms supplies to the main Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighting force on the ground, according to U.S. officials.
The military’s favored option among several variations currently under White House review, the proposal would ease a number of restrictions on U.S. activities imposed during the Obama administration.
Officials involved in the planning have proposed lifting a cap on the size of the U.S. military contingent in Syria, currently numbering about 500 Special Operations trainers and advisers to the combined Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF. While the Americans would not be directly involved in ground combat, the proposal would allow them to work closer to the front line and would delegate more decision-making authority down the military line from Washington.
President Trump, who campaigned on a pledge to expand the fight against the militants in Syria, Iraq and beyond, received the plan Monday after giving the Pentagon 30 days to prepare it.