US may deploy ground troops in Syria to fight ISIS


US soldiers. File photo

Donald Trump’s Defence Department may recommend sending combat troops into Syria to fight Islamic State militants, according to reports.

Already a small number of specials forces operate in the war-torn country, providing training and assistance to anti-ISIS opposition groups on the ground.

The previous Obama administration had rejected putting soldiers on the ground.

Although the Pentagon has not yet proposed the deployment to the White House it was under consideration, the CNN reported.

“It’s possible that you may see conventional forces hit the ground in Syria for some period of time,” a defence official said.

“I am also going to convene my top generals and give them a simple instruction: They will have 30 days to submit to the Oval Office a plan for defeating ISIS,” Trump previously said.

US military planners and intelligence officials are reported to have mapped virtually every airstrip and location in Syria that may be used by US troops.

White House Speaker Paul Ryan on 5 February suggested that he would support using US ground troops in Syria if it were part of a comprehensive plan to defeat ISIS.

“It’s in our vital national security interest. We must destroy ISIS in Syria,” Ryan told NBC News. “I’ve spent a lot of time on this issue. We cannot afford to allow ISIS to continue to enjoy safe havens to recruit.”

The US President Donald Trump has reportedly directed Defense Secretary James Mattis to draft a strategy for eliminating ISIS.


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