US heads for ground war in Syria

U.S. Special Operations Forces To Invade Syria: Official

By Richard Engel, Kristen Welker and Cassandra Vinograd

October 30, 2015 “Information Clearing House” – “NBC –  The U.S. will send a small number of U.S. special operations forces into Syria as part of a shift in its strategy against ISIS, officials said Friday.

A senior administration official confirmed that President Barack Obama has authorized a contingent of less than 50 special operations forces to deploy into northern Syria.

“We have been focused on intensifying elements of our strategy that have been working, while also moving away from elements of our approach that have proven less effective,” the official explained.

The White House was expected to announce the decision later Friday.

The move will be described as a “shift” but not a “change” in U.S. strategy against ISIS, another senior U.S. official told NBC News. The official said the special operations forces will be stationed in northern Syria and work alongside groups with a “proven track record” of fighting ISIS.

That could include working with Kurdish and allied actors who have come together under the umbrella of the “Syrian Democratic Forces,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the announcement was not yet public.

Rep. Mac Thornberry, chair of the House Armed Services Committee, said the expected announcement made clear the White House was feeling the pressure of a “failed policy” against ISIS.

“I’m concerned that the administration is trying to put in place limited measures — too late — that are not going to make a difference,” he told NBC News. “I don’t see a strategy towards accomplishing a goal, I see an effort to run out the clock without disaster.”

Obama and his administration have come under mounting pressure amid signs the anti-ISIS coalition has stalled or at least failed to turn the tide against the militants — including the recent Pentagon decision to abandon a failed program to train and equip Syrian rebels.

Small signs of a sea change in strategy have been filtering out in recent weeks and gained steam in wake of a U.S.-backed raid to free ISIS hostages that cost the life of a Delta Force commando.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter warned earlier this week that to expect more such raids when he told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Pentagon would be stepping up attacks against ISIS — including through “direct action on the ground” in Iraq and Syria.

Carter’s remarks — in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee — immediately raised eyebrows given repeated assurances from President Barack Obama that U.S. troops in the region would not engage in combat.

The defense secretary himself referred to the aforementioned raid as “combat,” where “things are complicated” in his comments to the committee.

The U.S. currently has around 3,300 troops in Iraq to train and advise Iraqi forces and protect U.S. facilities.

In addition to the announcement about sending Special Operations Forces into Syria, the White House will announce it will send more fighter jets to Turkey for intensified bombing runs on ISIS from a NATO airbase there.

© 2015


One Response to “US heads for ground war in Syria”

  1. sovereigntea says:

    Jim W. Dean Interview – US sending forces to Syria, window dressing

    Press TV: What is this all about now that the United States wants to send 50 US Special Forces troops on the ground to Syria?

    Dean: Well it is a little bit of window dressing. Fifty [forces] are really not going to have anything to do with affecting what is going to happen militarily, but I think the Obama administration feels a little embarrassed sitting back and having the world attention showing how successful the Russian and Syrian campaign was in rolling back the terrorism and he is trying to keep as a dog in the fight on the ground in northern Syria while the negotiations are going on.

    So he has made this limited deployment of openly backing 50 Special Operation troops to go in. And just as a quick aside, Special Operations people are always on the ground and have been o in Syria since this began – French, British and the US. This happens all over the world – in all the conflicts – but no country ever admits to them.

    But he came out and did this openly and he has objections from Ash Carter who basically says our people could get kidnapped, now we have got hostage situations, Congress is against it, so this is something to see that we do have some objection to it at home but 50 people is really not going to be the vanguard for a larger ground force going in.

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