More than 400 US Marines are leaving Syria after helping to capture the city of Raqqa from ISIS, the US-led coalition said.
Ryan Dillon, the chief spokesman for the US coalition that is fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria, tweeted: “400+ US Marines prepare to head home after providing precision artillery support to SDF partners & defeating ISIS in former capital.”
This Marines unit arrived in Syria on Sep. 15 to replace a former one, and after liberating the city and defeating ISIS the orders were made for the unit to return, according to the coalition statement.
“We’re drawing down combat forces where it makes sense, but still continuing our efforts to help Syrian and Iraqi partners maintain security,” Brigadier General Jonathan Braga, the director of operations for the coalition, said in the statement.
The coalition said at least 800 civilians have been unintentionally killed in airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since its campaign began in 2014 – far fewer than the numbers documented by monitoring teams. Monitoring teams have produced estimates of civilian deaths that go as high as nearly 5,961.
In a related matter, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that ISIS executed 15 members of the regime forces and pro-armed men in an attempt to raise spirits of the group supporters, after an almost total defeat all over the Syrian territories.
ISIS that was dominating more than half of Syria is now fighting to defend its existence in the last three percent of the Syrian geography, a space of around 5,600 square meters.