President Obama will announce later today a plan to send 250 additional special forces troops to war-torn Syria. Reuters has details of the plan designed to aid Syrian forces fighting against ISIS:
The deployment will increase U.S. forces in Syria to about 300. Its goal is to accelerate recent gains against Islamic State and appears to reflect growing confidence in the ability of U.S.-backed forces inside Syria and Iraq to claw back territory from the hardline Sunni Islamist group.
“We’ve seen across parts of northern and eastern Syria progress as ISIL has been pushed out of some strongholds,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters in the northern German city of Hanover, the last stop on Obama’s six-day foreign tour.
“We want to accelerate that progress and we believe the commitment of additional U.S. special forces can play a critical role.”
Meanwhile, in an interview with the BBC Obama said it would be a mistake for western nations to send troops to the region to overthrow Syrian dictator
“Syria has been a heart-breaking situation of enormous complexity, and I don’t think there are any simple solutions,” Obama said during his visit to London which ended Sunday.
“It would be a mistake for the United States, or Great Britain, or a combination of Western states to send in ground troops and overthrow the Assad regime.
“But I do believe that we can apply international pressure to all the parties, including Russia and Iran, who, essentially, are propping up Assad, as well as those moderate oppositions that exist and may be fighting inside of Syria, to sit down at the table and try to broker a transition.
Obama’s plan to send additional boots on the ground to Syria is in stark contrast with his public statements vowing not to send troops to the region. USA Today detailed last October the sixteen times Obama vowed not to order “boots on the ground” in Syria.
These additional 250 troops in Syria plus the already-deployed four thousand troops in Iraq adds up to a whole lot of boots, but the media will hardly challenge the President on such a minor detail. After all, he got Bin Laden.