WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US-led coalition to dislodge Daesh intends to deploy additional Syrian fighters for the upcoming operation to retake the city of Raqqa from the jihadist group, coalition commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend said at a briefing Wednesday.
“On Raqqa, I believe that there are sufficient local forces already available for that operation. However, we have a plan to…recruit and equip and train more local forces for that operation,” Townsend told reporters.
Carter also said that the Raqqa operation is expected to overlap with the offensive to retake Iraq's Mosul.
Daesh, which is outlawed in Russia and other countries, seized Mosul in 2014 and Raqqa in 2013 along with a number of other cities and towns in the two countries.
"We will move soon to isolate Raqqa with the forces that are ready to go soon," he said.
The Daesh terror group, outlawed in Russia, took full control of Raqqa in 2014 and declared it the capital of their "caliphate." Earlier this month, the Iraqi government launched an offensive to seize the Daesh stronghold of Mosul with air cover from the US-led coalition.
"We are negotiating, we are planning, we are having talks with Turkey. And we are going to take this in steps,” Townsend said.