Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Election 2020: Live Results | Tracking COVID-19 | Racial Justice

Camp Pendleton-Based Marines Move Into Syria For ‘Temporary’ Ground Mission

Photo credit: U.S. Navy

U.S. Service members with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit walk from their staging area to a Landing Craft Air Cushion at Senoor Beach, Oman after completing Exercise Sea Soldier, Mar. 3, 2017.

A group of Camp Pendleton Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit have departed their ships in the Middle East and moved into Syria to help fight ISIS.

The Pentagon has deployed 400 Marines on the ground to help Syrian fighters gain control of the northern city of Raqqa.

“These Marines are providing artillery fire support to the coalition — the indigenous Syrian forces there that are leading the fight to retake Raqqa. So the artillery support will enable them to get closer and defeat ISIS,” said Maj. Thomas Craig, a public affairs officer who called KPBS from the USS Makin Island in the Middle East.

Craig said the deployment is temporary.

Several hundred Special Operations troops have already been in Syria training local forces for months. The new mission comes as the Trump Administration is weighing a plan to defeat ISIS in Syria.

The 4,500 service members assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit left San Diego in October on a routine deployment. The force includes ground combat troops, helicopter squadrons and assault aircraft teams.

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.