Ground troops, one of Pentagon’s plans for Syria: Report

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Rest of World
Thursday, 16 February 2017

The US Defense Department might persuade President Donald Trump to authorize sending combat troops to Syria, an official says.

“It's possible that you may see conventional forces hit the ground in Syria for some period of time,” CNN reported on Wednesday night, citing a US defense official.

The decision is ultimately up to Trump, who has ordered his Defense Secretary James Mattis to put together a viable proposal to solve the ongoing crisis in the Arab country, the official added.

During the presidential campaign, Trump had openly supported deploying a large contingent of US troops to Syria.

“We really have no choice, we have to knock out ISIS (Daesh),” Trump said in March. “I would listen to the generals, but I’m hearing numbers of 20,000-30,000.”

The US has already sent several hundred of its special operations forces to Syria. However, their operations have been limited to what the Pentagon describes as training and assisting Kurdish fighters in their battle against Daesh (ISIL) and other terrorist groups.

When authorizing the limited deployments, then-US President Barack Obama had stressed that ground troops were not an option.

Mattis made it clear during his Senate confirmation hearings that he was against Obama’s approach.

According to CNN, the idea of using ground troops still remains a point of discussion among US military officials, who refuse to make it a formal proposal.

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