Let him be clear. When Barack Obama said on September 10, 2013 in one of his rare addresses to the nation from the East Room of the White House that “I will not put American boots on the ground in Syria,” he showed he meant business: He repeated the pledge on Twitter, which as all the world knows allows for no backsies:
President Obama: “I will not put American boots on the ground in #Syria. I will not pursue an open-ended action like Iraq or Afghanistan.”
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 11, 2013
As for reports that began circulating a shot time ago to the effect that the U.S. has resolved to deploy troops on the ground in Syria to advise and assist rebel forces in combating ISIS, they’re obviously wrong.
CNN, one of the major news outlets to spread this rumor, went so far to claim that U.S. Special Operations will be deployed and that their source was “a senior administration official.”
The U.S. Special Operations forces will first be deployed to northern Syria to help coordinate local ground forces and U.S.-led coalition efforts to fight ISIS, the senior administration official said. The local forces in that area have been the most effective U.S. partners in confronting ISIS.
The U.S. will also boost its military footprint in confronting ISIS in Syria by deploying A-10 and F-15 fighter jets to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. And the U.S. is also eying the establishment of a Special Forces task force in Iraq to boost U.S. efforts to target ISIS and its leaders, the administration official said. President Barack Obama has also authorized enhancing military aid to Jordan and Lebanon to help counter ISIS.
The U.S. has bombed targets in Syria since September 2014 without stopping ISIS, and it has largely failed in a mission to recruit and train moderate rebels in Syria to take on the terror group. In recent months, the U.S. has also bolstered its aid to local forces, air-dropping weapons, ammunition and other supplies to rebel forces inside Syria.
Word has it that Obama will make a formal announcement later today. One has to wonder whether his latest version of “I didn’t inhale” will be that he’s sending only 50 troops, which means a mere 100 boots on the ground, and that they will be deployed in an “advise and assist” capacity. That still doesn’t explain a military spokesman in Iraq’s affirming that troops there are indeed engaged in combat despite Obama’s repeated insistence to the contrary.