WASHINGTON — Marines providing artillery support to U.S.-backed Syrian fighters in Raqqa fired so many consecutive rounds they burned out the barrels of two M777 155 mm howitzers.
The story was told directly to Army Sergeant Major John Wayne Troxell, the senior enlisted adviser to chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, by a Marine Corps battery commander.
“Every minute of every hour we were putting some kind of fire on ISIS in Raqqa, whether it was mortars, artillery, rockets, [High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems], Hellfires, armed drones, you name it,” Troxell told reporters on Monday. Troxell had visited Raqqa a couple weeks ago for a period of four hours.
The Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, commander for the Raqqa campaign, Gen. Rojda Felat, knew she had to aggressively keep pressure on ISIS in Raqqa, which meant coalition support in terms of ISR, drones and artillery also had to be aggressive, Troxell explained to reporters.