WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House says that sending fewer than 50 special operations forces for deployment on the ground in northern Syria will have an impact and intensify the U.S. effort against the Islamic State.
Without specifying the exact number, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday that the new forces would amplify President Barack Obama’s policy of supporting local forces in Syria as they battle the Islamic State militants.
Earnest said the forces will offer advice and support to the moderate opposition troops.
But Earnest says it’s not a combat mission. He declined to give details on their role.
This marks the first time American troops will be working openly on the ground in the war-torn country.
U.S. Senator Tim Scott released a statement today regarding the President’s announcement saying:
“What our nation needs to see from the White House is a concrete strategy for dealing with the situation in Syria, and unfortunately today’s announcement continues the directionless foreign policy this administration has made its specialty. We are now seeing what happens when we leave a void of American leadership around the world, and this pin the tail on the donkey approach is ineffective at best and dangerous at worst. Our troops, and the American people, deserve better.”