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    Full Throttle: US Apache Helicopters to Take Part in Raqqa Operation

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    The commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces, Nasir Hec Mansur, in an interview with Sputnik Turkey, said that the US is carrying out preparations for the Raqqa operation.

    “The US is helping us with the issue of providing arms and ammunition. We are constantly supplied with armored vehicles and heavy weapons. The US continues to conduct preparatory work for the operation in Raqqa. We are also waiting for shipments of American Apache helicopters,” Mansur said.

    He further said that it is assumed that Apache helicopters will be used as part of the military operations in liberating Raqqa from the terrorists.

    Earlier it was reported that the US military uses heavy weapons in its operations against Daesh.

    Apache combat helicopters have been used during the operation in Mosul. It is reported that these helicopters are equipped with night vision sensors and a high-precision navigation system, thanks to which they can fly at a very low altitude.

    Currently, the military is coordinating the training of the Syrian forces and teaching them how to use heavy weapons.

    The SDF commander told Sputnik Turkey that the United States intends to send additional military resources to the area near Raqqa.

    Meanwhile, a military source told Sputnik on Wednesday that yesterday Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), jointly with the US military, launched a large-scale military operation against Daesh in the area of Tabqa, located 45 km from Raqqa.

    “There are 400 SDF fighters involved in the operation together with 100 US soldiers and a military group from France and the United Kingdom. The Special Forces of Kurdish self-defense units YPG are also taking an active part in this operation,” the source said.

    Furthermore, the coalition’s aircraft provided the fighters with intensive air support.

    “During the operation, we succeeded in destroying a significant number of Daesh terrorists and four were taken prisoner,” the source said.

    He further said that violent clashes continue. The Aleppo-Tabqa road has been blocked and currently the fighters are trying to establish control over villages in the west and south of Tabqa.

    “Since yesterday, our forces managed to free eight villages from Daesh. After the surrounding villages are cleared of the terrorists, we will begin the siege of the city after which we plan to establish control over Tabqa Dam,” the SDF source said.

    During a briefing on Wednesday, Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Col. Joseph Scrocca confirmed the use of Apache helicopters and Marine artillery during an air assault in Syria's Tabqa against Daesh.

    “The Coalition supported this offensive with air movement and logistical support, precision airstrikes, Apache helicopters in close air support, marine artillery and special operations advice and assistance to SDF leadership,” Scrocca told reporters.

    The United States informed Russia of moving forces into Syria's Tabqa dam region, Col. Joseph Scrocca also said.

    The Operation Inherent Resolve said liberation of Tabqa is critical for the offensive on Raqqa.

    "Tabqah Dam has been used as an ISIS [Daesh] headquarters, a prison for high-profile hostages, a training location, and for external terror plotting since ISIS took control of the location in 2013," it stated.

    Scrocca added that the coalition stands ready to provide logistical support to partner forces fighting on the ground in Tabqa.

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    Tags:
    anti-Daesh coalition, offensive, helicopter, operation, liberation, AH-64 Apache, Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Daesh, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Raqqa, Syria
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