Washington, – The Pentagon said Thursday that U.S. military aircraft had transported Syrian Kurds fighters to a town near ISIS’ stronghold of Raqqa.

It is the first time the U.S. taken such a direct role on the ground in the war in Syria.

The Kurdish and allied Arab fighters are trying to take the town of Tabqa and the Tabqa Dam which generates electricity for the area on the Euphrates River.

“This is a significant strategic target,” said Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon, which would “basically cut ISIS off” from western access to Raqqa.

The operation is part of a growing U.S. military commitment against ISIS in Syria. Hundreds of U.S. marines recently landed in the area providing howitzer support to the Kurds.

In the air transport operation, the marines fired artillery and U.S. army helicopters provided ground cover. A number of U.S. military advisers accompanied the Kurds, the Pentagon said, as the U.S. appears to be inching closer to a ground campaign in Syria.

During the presidential campaign, President Donald Trump said he would consider deploying up to 30,000 U.S. ground forces to fight ISIS in Syria.

He also said he had a “secret plan” to defeat ISIS, and these early deployments may be part of it. Though they are fighting a common enemy, the Syrian government has condemned the U.S. deployment as it has not been authorized by Damascus. (QNA)

Source: Qatar News Agency