Statement: Over 400 US Marines from Syria anti-IS operation to head home

Over 400 US Marines involved in battling the Islamic State group in Syria are being withdrawn after allied forces ousted the jihadists from their “capital” Raqa, the US-led coalition said Thursday.

“The Marines supported Coalition partner forces with precise artillery strikes in the fight against ISIS,” the coalition said in a statement.

“With the city liberated and ISIS on the run, the unit has been ordered home. Its replacements have been called off.”

The coalition’s director of operations Brigadier General Jonathan Braga called the move “a real sign of progress” as the jihadists have seen the vast swathes of ground they seized across Syria and Iraq in 2014 reduced to just a few remaining pockets.

“We’re drawing down combat forces where it makes sense, but still continuing our efforts to help Syrian and Iraqi partners maintain security,” he said in the statement.