The journalists were allowed access to the northern part of the hydroelectric dam, the largest in the country. RT's Lizzie Phelan recorded a short clip of US service personnel at the dam before the SDF asked her to stop filming.
Phelan also said that Kurdish fighters admitted that US Marines take part in combat although they were not authorized to comment on the issue. One of them said that "it's the Americans firing" when they heard the sounds of shelling.
"The Americans are on the other side and mortars were fired at them, then the Americans came to check the position of the mortar launchers," the fighter said.
There are approximately 1,000 US special operations forces, Marines and Army Rangers in Syria at the moment. Their mission has been officially limited to providing training, advising and assistance. High-ranking US officials have repeatedly said that US troops would not take part in combat in Syria, but rather help the SDF encircle and liberate Raqqa, Daesh's largest urban stronghold.
On Wednesday, Army Gen. Joseph Votel, Commander of the US Central Command, reiterated that the Pentagon has "not taken our eye off what our principle mission is, which is to advise and assist and enable our partners… Help our partners fight, but not fight for them."
Once this operation is over, the SDF would be able to proceed to the capital of Daesh's caliphate. Earlier this week, Salih Muslim, co-chairman of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), told Sputnik Turkey that the military assault on the embattled city is expected to be launched in April.
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