Former head of CIA (US Central Intelligence Agency) General Michel Hayden says American special operations forces could be involved on the ground in Syria as part of President Barack Obama’s plans to confront ISIL Takfiri insurgents.
Hayden predicted that by December some 5,000 American personnel would be engaged in the fight against ISIL on the ground overseas.
“In terms of intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, logistics, advice, command and control assistance, tactical air control parties, look I’m betting we’re up close 5,000 by the end of the year,” Haden who served as director of the CIA under former US president George W. Bush said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Hayden said that these forces will not be “combat maneuver units”. He, however, added that US special forces will covertly operate in Syria and Iraq.
“I think we will at some point. It might be through covert action rather than more overt activity.”
“I actually think we will end up with small American special operations forces active within this broad theater in Syria and Iraq,” he said.
Hayden described the training and arming of militants fighting against the Syrian government as the most difficult part of Obama’s plan to confront ISIL because the United States should be “starting from zero” to create a “substantial” military power.
The former CIA director predicted that the US military action allegedly aimed at destroying the terrorist group would take three to five years even if it is successful.