Opposition loses 4 towns to Daesh in Syria: US
Syrian moderate opposition forces have lost four towns to Daesh in northwest Syria in the last 24 hours, a U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition spokesman said Wednesday.
"The enemy focused a portion of combat power in the northern parts of the Maraa line and the opposition forces had to withdraw from four towns,” Col. Steve Warren told reporters via a teleconference from Baghdad.
The Maraa line refers to an area named by the coalition that lies between Mara and Deir Rafat in Syria. It is located near the front lines of the battle against Daesh militants who seek to control the two cities before capturing Azaz, which would give the group control of the northern Aleppo countryside.
U.S. defense officials have said Daesh has been in a defensive crouch recently but Warren tried to downplay the militant group’s offensive saying that the extremists may still have some tactical capability but they don’t have a sustained offensive ability.
He noted his hope that the opposition would retake the towns in a matter of weeks.
The Pentagon has been focusing its major support in Syria on Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance predominantly led by the PYD, an offshoot of the outlawed PKK terror group in northeastern Syria.
U.S. aircraft have airdropped ammunitions to the group, which the Pentagon claimed was intended for the Syrian Arab Coalition, a rebel group fighting under Syrian Democratic Forces with its nearly 5,000 fighters.
The U.S. also deployed 50 Special Operation Forces late last year and recently announced that it would send 250 more.
Although the Pentagon claims the forces are there to train and assist troops fighting Daesh, a recent documentary film shows what appears to be U.S. Special Forces on the frontlines with PYD forces.
Warren denied the claims in the video, saying American commandoes are not on the frontline in Syria.
"In the video that I saw, the forces were faces blurred. Guys were wearing kind of gray pants and were carrying non-standard equipment and weapons, not US standard,” Warren said. "So I believe that video was mislabeled.”
He also said "blurred faces” in the video indicate the forces were working with the TV crew which he said was unlikely for U.S. forces.
"U.S. forces are not working with any TV crew,” he said.
Last Modified: 2016-04-28 09:59:07
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