US President Barack Obama declared in April that he doesn’t intend to conduct a ground offensive against Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) forces in Syria, but at the same time remarked that the US military contingent deployed to the country to assist local militant groups in fighting against the terrorist movement will be increased to 300 servicemen.
However, the people depicted on these photographs don’t look like military "advisers and instructors" staying out of combat engagements like Obama apparently intended. Instead, they look like front line operatives, armed, prepped and ready for action.
The pictures were taken in the vicinity of Raqqa, the so called capital of Daesh, which is currently the target of a major offensive launched by Kurdish forces and members of other militant factions opposing the Islamist terrorists.
Some of the US servicemen were also apparently seen wearing Kurdish insignias on their uniforms. Whether they do it to avoid friendly fire or to obfuscate their true allegiance remains unclear.
Also, in an apparent attempt to avoid attracting too much attention to their movements and to blend in with the local fighters, the US operators use Toyota pickup trucks for transportation and to move their equipment. The ubiquitous vehicle is often used by local forces both as a transport and as a mobile weapons platform, as it is less likely to stand out than US military hardware.