Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, confirmed while aboard the U.S.S. Roosevelt that America could send more special operations forces into the Syrian theater if the Pentagon could find more capable local groups to partner with.
Carter told ABC News, “If we find additional groups that are willing to fight ISIL and are capable and motivated, we’ll do more. The president has indicated a willingness to do more, I certainly am prepared to recommend he do more, but you need to have capable local forces; that’s the key to sustainable victory,”
“What they are doing there is they are enabling local forces, a mixture of Kurds and Syrian Arabs, who want to fight ISIL. So this small, very elite group, is intended to bring to bear all that the United States can bring to bear, in the way of intelligence, air power and so forth, to help these motivated, capable local forces…And this is an instance of the whole strategy. We have to beat ISIL. We will beat ISIL. ISIL’s heart is in Syria and Iraq.”
The Obama adminstration has recently sent approximately fifty special operations personnel into the Syrian theater to coordinate American support for local ground forces allied against the Islamic State. One Delta Force operator was killed in a recent raid with Kurdish commandos against an ISIS prison.
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