March 22, 2017 / 5:47 PM / 4 months ago

U.S. helicopters, special ops take part in Syria rebel airlift

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Forces such as Apache helicopters, U.S. Marine artillery and special operation troops were part of a U.S-led coalition operation to air drop Syrian rebels into an area near the Islamic State's stronghold Raqqa, a U.S. official said on Wednesday.

The air drop of Syrian Democratic Forces near the town of Tabqa in northern Syria was the first time the coalition had carried out such a mission, Colonel Joseph Scrocca, a spokesman, told reporters.

He said that about 75 to 80 percent of the forces air dropped were members of the Syrian Arab Coalition group and the remainder were from another part of the SDF, some of whom were Kurdish fighters.

Reporting by Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart; Editing by Alistair Bell

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