Several hundred Marines sent to prepare for battle to push ISIL out of its de facto capital, Raqqa, in country's north.
Several hundred Marines have deployed into Syria with artillery guns, as part of the ongoing preparation for the fight to push ISIL out of its self-declared headquarters of Raqqa, a Pentagon spokesman has confirmed.
The Marines are pre-positioning howitzers to be ready to assist local Syrian forces, according to US officials.
The deployment is temporary. But it could be an indication that the White House is leaning towards giving the Pentagon greater flexibility to make routine combat decisions in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS).
Syria’s war: A look at the Manbij conflict
Military commanders frustrated by what they considered micromanagement under the previous administration have argued for greater freedom to make daily decisions on how best to fight the enemy.
In addition, the US is preparing to send up to 1,000 troops to Kuwait in order to be ready to join the ISIL fight if they are needed, officials said.
Proponents of the move said it would provide US commanders on the ground greater flexibility to quickly respond to unforeseen opportunities and challenges on the battlefield.
The latest troop movements come on the heels of the recent temporary deployment of some dozens of army forces to the outskirts of Manbij, Syria, in what the Pentagon called a "reassure and deter" mission.
Flying American flags and moving in large, heavily armoured vehicles, the troops were there to keep a lid on tensions in the area, the Pentagon said.
Under the existing limits put in place by the Obama administration, the military can have up to 500 US forces in Syria, although temporary personnel do not count against the cap.
The special operations fighters are ostensibly there to train and assist the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an umbrella group of Kurdish and Arab fighters that have proven to be a key ground asset in the US-led coalition's battle against ISIL.
Pentagon leaders sent a new plan to defeat ISIL to the White House late last month. It outlined a strategy that would likely increase the number of US troops in Syria in order to better advise and enable the US-backed Syrian fighters who will take on the battle for Raqqa.
The military has mapped out a series of options for the Syria fight, including increased artillery support, more Apache helicopters and a more robust training campaign.
US officials say the battle for Raqqa will look much like the fight in neighbouring Iraq, where local forces are in a fierce battle to retake the northern city of Mosul - ISIL's last stronghold in the country.
As troops were preparing to move into Mosul, the US set up bases outside the city to use as logistical hubs and as locations for heavy artillery.
The moves to pre-position US troops closer to the fight, so they can be tapped as needed, are the kinds of decisions that military commanders say they need to be able to make more quickly, without going to the White House every time for approval.
TWITTER/GETTYJihadi Scholng failed to hit it off with the ladiesThe selfie-obsessed recruiter thought naked snaps of himself would lure in girls to join ISIS.The London-based extremist who goes by the alias of Jazwari Saraqib has previously shared extremist propaganda online, along with a string of naked pix to social media users.Previous ISIS fanatic Jihadi John had taken a bride in the ISIS caliphate but had never exposed himself to other ISIS recruits.Scholng’s plan to lure in new recruits by sending explicit pics of his manhood backfired when the images were shared on social media.TwitterJihadi Scholng has been trolled by social media usersSince his selfies emerged users have been sharing them – to mock the size of his willy.A post on one account said: "ISIS fanboy 'Jazrawi' exposed. "Saudi national in London."He sent the wrong ISIS fangirl nudes of his (tiny) wiener."Another said: "He is married."This hypocrite b*****d has been supporting ISI…
The Petya ransomware makes a computer unusable until a ransom is paid One of the strange features of cybercrime is how much of it is public.A quick search will turn up forums and sites where stolen goods, credit cards and data are openly traded.But a glance into those places may not give you much idea about what is going on."Everyone can join as long as you speak Russian," said Anton, a malware researcher at security firm SentinelOne, who has inhabited this underground world for more than 20 years."By Russian I mean the USSR, so there is Ukrainians, there is Kazakhstan, there is Belarus. The Romanians are doing all the dirty work like spam and maintenance so they are not really involved in developing malware," he said. "But, today, is it mainly Russian? Yes."Those vibrant underground marketplaces have a long history and Anton adds that he tracks the malware makers to gain insights into what they might do next."I was there from the very early stages,&q…
Activists have circulated amateur videos showing women being beaten
leading Shia Muslim cleric has told his followers to retaliate if women
are attacked, in a warning to the country's security forces.
In a sermon delivered at Friday prayers Sheikh Isa Qassim said: "Whoever you see abusing a woman, crush him."
The outburst has added to growing tension in the Gulf island state.
Shia protesters have faced the brunt of the security
crackdown un the past year, as the Sunni monarchy attempts to cope with
their demands for reform.
Activists have highlighted and circulated amateur videos
showing women being beaten and arrested by male security officers since
protests erupted in the capital Manama in February.
In a passionate and angry sermon, a video of which has been
seen by the BBC, Sheikh Qassim said on Friday: "Let us die for our
"How do they who do this to people expect the people t…