Sending US special forces to Syria will endanger their lives: Carter
President Barack Obama’s plan to send US special forces to Syria to assist militants fighting against the Syrian government and the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group will put the American forces in harm’s way, says Pentagon chief.
“Our role fundamentally and the strategy is to enable local forces but does that put US forces in harm’s way? It does, no question about it,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Friday.
Senior US administration officials said on Friday that there will be some 50 troops deployed in the Middle East region to “train, advise and assist” so-called vetted militants, the BBC reported.
A top official told the British broadcaster that this does not indicate a change in US strategy but an “intensification” of the military campaign.
Carter said that the US will consider the possibility of further special forces deployments to Syria as long as the initial deployment is fruitful.
“We are going to continue to innovate, to build on what works,” Carter said. “As we think of new ways and … develop new opportunities to support capable and motivating forces we will consider those, we will make recommendations to the president.”
Meanwhile, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said “these forces do not have a combat mission.”
The newly proposed Special Operations forces in Syria would reportedly work in tandem with US-backed militants and Kurdish fighters, supported by American air power, to mount an offensive on northeastern city of Raqqa, the de-facto capital of Daesh.
The new plan comes as an American troop was killed in Iraq while participating in a Kurdish-led mission to free ISIL hostages this month.