BuzzFeed News quotes Rafik Hariri Center Nonresident Fellow Aaron Stein on reports that the United States is increasing its presence at Incirlik airbase in Turkey ahead of an offensive against the ISIS stronghold in Raqqa, Syria:

yrian militant groups, including the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, known as the PYD, or its armed wing, the People’s Protection Units, or the YPG, and their Arab allies, say they are preparing for an oncoming ground offensive against ISIS in Raqqa, an agricultural hub used by the millennialist jihadi group as a de facto headquarters.

“Incirlik is designed to accommodate surges, surges of troops or refugees,” said Aaron Stein, a Turkey specialist at the Atlantic Council’s Middle East center. “This appears linked to reports of the U.S. expanding its support for the YPGs and its Arab allies in order to seize Raqqa from ISIS.”

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