On Wednesday, a spokesman for U.S. troops in Iraq said the American-backed Syrian-Arab Coalition, or SAC, has been growing and will target Raqqa eventually.
"The SAC is continuing to gain strength, it's continuing to grow, and we'll continue to build up in posture for an eventual move against Raqqa. That's what our focus is," said Army Col. Steve Warren, the spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve.
In April Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced plans to send more U.S. troops to Syria, expanding the force of special operations troops from 50 to 300. Those troops will advise friendly militias and help coordinate U.S. air strikes with the militant's ground attacks on ISIS.
U.S. warplanes dropped leaflets over Raqqa in July 2015 that declared "Freedom is coming."
Andrew Tilghman is the executive editor for Military Times. He is a former Military Times Pentagon reporter and served as a Middle East correspondent for the Stars and Stripes. Before covering the military, he worked as a reporter for the Houston Chronicle in Texas, the Albany Times Union in New York and The Associated Press in Milwaukee.