U.S. Military Trains Syrian Anti-ISIS Fighters GroupIn this photo taken May 21, 2016, members of what the U.S. calls the Syrian Democratic Forces gather after a training session at a firing range in northern Syria. U.S. Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of Central Command, visited the camp to consult with Syrians and talk to US military advisers working with the Syrian fighters. (AP Photo/Robert Burns)
The U.S. Military is making efforts to turn a group of volunteer Arab men and Kurdish women into a fighting force to take down ISIS.
American military advisers are aiding these volunteers because a large group of Syrian people have decided to take up arms against ISIS so they can protect themselves, their country and their families from the ISIS threat. One volunteer called ISIS an “illness.”
Among the volunteers that joined the fight against ISIS is the YPJ also known as the Women’s Protection Unit, which is a female military organization for Kurdish women. The group and other volunteers are eager to see ISIS destroyed.
The amount of volunteers has grown rapidly over the past few months as continued success against ISIS is showing that this group can be destroyed and territorial gains are becoming more frequent. After al-Shaddadeh in Hassakeh province was taken back, many were eager to volunteer. American officials said that there were more Arabs willing to join the fight than could be accommodated. Many of the volunteers have no prior military experience.
American authorities are hoping that enough volunteers and fighters will join the fight against ISIS so that they can reclaim the Northern Syrian city of Raqqa, the capital of ISIS.
The volunteers are being pushed into a group called the Syrian Democratic Forces, also known as the SDF which is comprised of 25,000 Syrian Kurds and roughly 5,000 Syrian Arabs.
The United States believes that in order to begin an offensive in the isolated city of Raqqa, the SDF will need upwards of ten thousand troops to take back the city.
United States support is coming in the form of training and advising troops to effectively utilize their strengths in the fight against ISIS.