(Mar 22, 2016 – IRAQ – The first U.S. Military Firebase in Iraq has come under attack from ISIS. The base, known as Firebase Bell, came under small arms fire from a group of about 10 ISIS fighters who also attacked a nearby U.S./Iraqi installation at Makhmur in northern Iraq. Courtesy of CNN via TopGunMilitary and YouTube)
The Marine Corps element would eventually be replaced by an Army battery later in 2016.
The news of the Marine artillery element in Syria comes shortly after Army Stryker combat vehicles were spotted in Northeast Syria.
The revelation prompted Air Force Col. John Dorrian, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, the coalition prosecuting the ISIS fight, to confirm via Twitter that American troops had moved near Manbij, about 90 miles northwest of Raqqa.
On Monday, Pentagon officials confirmed that American-backed militia troops in Syria had taken control of a key route out of Raqqa, dealing an important setback to ISIS fighters.
(Mar 9, 2017 -US Marines arrive in Syria to retake Raqqa from ISIS, courtesy of Fox News and YouTube)
A surge of U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq was one of the options recently presented by the Pentagon to President Donald Trump as a way to accelerate the campaign against ISIS.
Trump and Defense Department leadership have yet to indicate what they plan to do.