U.S. Troops have began to take positions inside Raqqa city, in the Al-Mashlab block after being liberated by the Syrian Democratic Forces or SDF. The city had been under siege after the renewed offensive by the U.S. backed SDF troops earlier June.

What is the aim for U.S. troop presence in Raqqa?

The U.S. backed Syrian Democratic Forces are slowly pushing ISIS fighters out of the city of Raqqa. The capture of the said city has great significance as Raqqa is one of the major strongholds of ISIS forces in Syria. The fall of which will signal the complete defeat of the Islamic States in the eastern Syrian desert.

According to Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesperson for the U.S. led coalition in Syria, U.S. troops are present in the area near Raqqa to provide artillery support. The American contingent is also reported to provide advice, assist and accompany roles for the predominantly Kurdish soldiers that form the backbone of the SDF fighting in Syria.

The Pentagon, on the other hand, hasn't divulged exact figures on how many U.S. troops are deployed in Raqqa, but according to previous statements, there are about 500 active soldiers in Syria. However, Col. Dillon stressed that only a few American troops are present in the besieged city. It is also reported that U.S. troops have captured an airbase near the city of Aleppo and have raised the American flag in the area.

What is the reaction of Assad and the Syrian government?

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad proved to the international community that he is in complete control of the government while opposition forces waned. The United Nations have also started to accept the fact that Assad is the person that will represent his country in the possible peace talks that will ensue after ISIS in Syria is destroyed.

This is a major setback to the Syrian rebels, who are hoping to take power in Syria after their war against ISIS. The United States has been funding these rebels to topple Assad's government. However, it may be that after the war against the Islamic State, the United States will have to leave the rebels to fend for themselves as Assad is expected to ruthlessly stamp out the rebellion that had plagued his country for more than six years.

Russia is also part of the problem in Syria as Moscow is fervently supporting Assad and have provided military aid on its own campaign of regaining land taken by ISIS. Syria is slowly becoming a conglomeration of violence from factions all wanting each other to disappear from the face of the Earth.