So it seems the plan is to deploy "less than 50" special forces to the Tell Abyad area, so they can call in air strikes from the ground for the assault on Raqqa.
There's been some criticism for sending in that number (people saying it's too small or too large) but a small force is all that's needed to call in air strikes, and it's only natural that the US wouldn't give the kurds the ability to call in US airstrikes directly.
From the map though, going straight for Raqqa seems kind of foolhardy. Why not capture the Tishrin Dam instead to cut off Manbjj. Of course you can't bomb the dam and cut the bridge that way because of the collateral damage, but if you seize it as a checkpoint that would accomplish way more than storming into Raqqa and not being able to hold it because you have no dudes.
you need more than 50 men to man a checkpoint. Thats why. That and special forces are meant for long range reconaissance, hence why the airstrike only policy. Using them as line infantry would be plain retarded.
Essentially, the common opinion is and has been that ISIS cannot hold under supported assault.
Raqqa has always been a high profile target, kind of like what Tora Bora was in Afghanistan. The US wants the diplomatic victory of saying "Look what we did, we totally got this!" ignoring the fact that ISIS is still thoroughly dug in throughout Mosul, etc.
In short, they're going for the head of the Hydra, knowing full well it's not going to end anything- it's just a trophy.
Is western Deir ez-Zor under ISIS or rebel control?
Says it is controlled by the rebels.
Here rueters say that it's controled by ISIS and that Russia is bombing it:
"Read my lips, no boots on the ground in Syria"
We already had special forces on the ground in Syria if you didn't know.
Way more than 50.
These are just the "let's call in airstrikes" forces.
Anyone with half a brain knows that Raqqa won't fall to the Kurds. It's not Kurdish territory, and they have much bigger problems with Turkey.