More than 400 U.S. Marines are heading home after successfully supporting U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces’ liberation of the Islamic State’s capital of Raqqa, Operation Inherent Resolve revealed Thursday.
400+ US Marines prep to head home after providing precision artillery support to SDF partners & defeating ISIS in former “capital.” Oohrah! pic.twitter.com/cULuNNqoXM
— OIR Spokesman (@OIRSpox) November 30, 2017
“These Marines rained relentless and highly accurate firepower on the enemy,” Marine Artillery Lt. Col. Jon O’Gorman said in a Thursday statement.
Brig. Gen. Jonathan Braga continued in the statement, “We’re drawing down combat forces where it makes sense, but still continuing our efforts to help Syrian and Iraqi partners maintain security,” adding, “Our remaining forces will continue to work by, with, and through partner forces to defeat remaining ISIS, prevent a re-emergence of ISIS.”
Reports indicate the Marine detachment was quite active while it was in Raqqa. “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,” a former Marine told reporters.
The 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. 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.
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