Footage released today by Agence France-Presse (AFP) shows what are obviously U.S. special operations forces working alongside soldiers from the Kurdish-led coalition known as the Syrian Democratic Forces. Thousands of SDF soldiers are just outside of Raqqa, the Islamic State’s capital, in preparation for a major offensive. The footage comes just a day after journalists took photos of U.S. soldiers in northern Syria sporting unit patches seen on Kurdish YPG forces, which has caused controversy both in Turkey and in the United States.
U.S. operations in northern Syria have purportedly been led by JSOC forces, which many believe have been supplemented by U.S. Green Berets since the Pentagon has added an additional 250 to the original force of 50 soldiers. But this footage hints at the possibility that elements from MARSOC are on the ground supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces. At 1:10 of the video, one of the operators can clearly be seen wearing what looks to be a black shirt with a Marine Raider insignia on the right sleeve.