“Every minute of every hour we were putting some kind of fire on ISIS in Raqqa, whether it was mortars, artillery, rockets, Hellfires, armed drones, you name it,” Troxell boasted to reporters. “That’s a shitload of rounds,” a former artillery officer exclaimed to Military Times, noting that he had never seen such a phenomenon.
Hundreds of U.S. Marines were dispatched deep inside Syria before operations to retake Raqqa began to pummel ISIS’s defenses with artillery. The Marines reportedly were within 20 miles of the capital. Artillery and air power support was given to the Syrian Democratic Forces, a group militarily backed by the U.S. government.
The unit fired nearly 4,500 artillery rounds during their deployment, averaging nearly 100 rounds per day. Marines later released a video of some of their operations in Syria.
The SDF successfully retook Raqqa in mid-October marking the end of a nearly four month battle and four year occupation of the city.
“The terrorist organization used hospitals, mosques, schools and otherwise-protected sites as cover for the planning, execution and support of military operations. Daesh also committed violations of human rights for which individuals will be held accountable. Raqqah was a key location for Daesh’s planning, financing, execution, or inspiration of terrorist activities throughout the world, including attacks in Paris, Brussels, Nice, Manchester and many others,” the U.S. military revealed in a victory statement at the time.
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