U.S. fight against ISIS in Syria will get more military personnel

Defense Secretary Ash Carter arrives Monday, April 18, 2016, in Baghdad and is greeted by Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, top U.S. Commander for the fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. (AP Photo/Lolita C. Baldor)

The U.S. will reportedly deploy an additional 250 military personnel to Syria, significantly expanding the American presence there to fight ISIS.

The deployment was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. A senior administration official confirmed the “outlines” of the report to NBC News and said President Barack Obama was expected to detail the moves on Monday.

The additional personnel would bolster the contingent of around 50 commandos authorized for operations in Syria.

In October, the administration announced that it would send a small number of U.S. special operations forces into Syria, a move that signaled a subtle shift in strategy.

Monday’s expected announcement comes after Obama’s top military advisers persuaded the president that additional personnel would help the Pentagon extend recent gains against ISIS, according to The Wall Street Journal.

It also mirrors a similar move in Iraq for the fight against ISIS.

Last week Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the U.S. will send 217 more troops — including special operations forces — to Iraq.

“The Iraqis are still in the lead. That doesn’t change,” Carter told Nightly News anchor Lester Holt. “Americans are at risk today every single day here. As secretary of defense, I take that more seriously than anything else.

 

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