Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Obama: No front-line role for US special forces in Syria

US president Barack Obama has said America will not put its troops on the front line in Syria to fight the Islamic State group (IS), despite his decision to deploy special forces on the ground.

In his first comments since the deployment was announced, Mr Obama said it was merely an extension of what the US was already doing, noting that the US had run special operations missions in Syria previously.

He said US troops would not be fighting in Syria the way they did in the Iraq War with "battalions and occupations", saying that does not solve the problem.

His comments, in an interview with NBC News, come three days after the White House announced plans to send up to 50 special operations troops to assist Kurdish and Arab forces in northern Syria.

The deployment marks a significant departure for Mr Obama, who for years has resisted putting ground forces in Syria.

However he has gradually intensified the US military response to what counter-terrorism officials worry is a growing IS threat in Syria and Iraq.

America has also promised nearly 100 million dollars (£65 million) in fresh aid for Syria's opposition, bringing to nearly 500 million dollars (£325 million) the amount it has pledged to the opposition since 2012.


From Belfast Telegraph