More Boots on the Ground: US Commander Says More American Troops May Be Sent to Syria

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More US troops may be needed in Syria to speed up the campaign against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), the top commander for the Middle East has stated, specifically referring to the push to liberate Raqqa.

“I am very concerned about maintaining momentum,” General Joseph L. Votel, the head of the United States Central Command, told reporters, as quoted by CBS News.

He said local forces being supported by the US “don’t have as good mobility, they don’t have as much firepower, so we have to be prepared to fill in some of those gaps for them,” noting that such support may involve additional fire support capability and “a variety of other things” to help “offset some of the gaps.”

“It could be that we take on a larger burden ourselves,” he said. “That’s an option.”

Votel stressed, however, that Washington is not considering sending US troops to take over the fighting, and that the strategy developed during the Obama administration of keeping local forces at the forefront would remain unchanged.

His comments were in reference to the mission to liberate Raqqa from IS militants, who have claimed it as their de facto capital.

Votel also stated that Iraqi forces are making rapid gains on the southern outskirts of Mosul, but that the “real test will be once we get into the city itself.”

Eastern Mosul has already been liberated following a 100-day battle in which Iraqi troops suffered heavy casualties. The operation to liberate western Mosul began over the weekend.

Lieutenant General Townsend revealed over the weekend that the 450 American advisers working with the Iraqis in Mosul had moved closer to the front lines in order to stay in touch with Iraqi commanders as they advanced on the city.

The US has about 500 Special Operations troops in Syria. If American military presence were to be expanded, additional troops could come from conventional combat units, the New York Times reported. However, Votel stressed that he would not recommend deploying large combat formations.

“We want to bring the right capabilities forward,” he said. “Not all of those are necessarily resident in the Special Operations community. If we need additional artillery or things like that, I want to be able to bring those forward to augment our operations.”

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  • Rick E.

    What exactly, gives our government the right to invade Syria at will and without permission of the government of Syria?
    NO, simply stating that we’re exceptional does not give them the right to just invade a sovereign country! This bullying, affecting regime change, and interfering with other countries must stop!
    More boots on the ground will equate to more boots in the ground, and this certainly is NOT defensive maneuvers, this IS aggression and is morally bankrupt behavior.

    • Ken, Megapolis

      The major assumption here is that America is doing the will of God and no-one can argue with them. Ah-ha! One also sees ISIS as doing the will of Allah.
      A classic case of the irresistible force meets the immovable body.
      So help me please.

  • frankw

    What possible effect on the American people justifies the blatant aggression against Syria? And it is against Syria despite all the intentional confusion about who are the good terrorists and who are the bad. The warhawks are doing everything in their power to create a confrontation with any of the nations who won’t bow down to the Zionist elite.

    • Ken, Megapolis

      Not sure where Zionism fits in mate. I only see losers and that includes many a vet with medals yet amputations. Not good you know.

  • TrevorD

    USA/NATO have done enough damage already with their support of ISIS. Its too late to change position now. Stay home and leave it to those that were always fighting them and not pretending to. The audacity of these two faced, low life warmongers in Western Governments makes my blood boil….

    • jimmy joe

      Low life, greasy motherfuckers, is right!! There are people that exist, right here in sheeple land, that go for anything these greasy fucks do, simply because their guy, who calls himself a republicrat, is now the boss of the new regime!! There are sheeple that actually think all of dc’s corruption WILL go away because their guy thats in office now, calls himself a republicrat. Some bitch named poo poo baby and this snowflake that refers to herself as reverend doc, are just 2 examples of the sheeple that actually believe this?? Those are the sheeple that are somewhat responsible for the decline of our rights, for following msm, AND believing everything that comes across fox/faux “news”!! Here you have a guy calling cnn fake news, yet, does an interview with a dink that is NOT even a journalist, on yet, another fake news source!! We all, well, most of us, anyway, not including snowflakes AND their associates, already KNOW about the 5 corporations that control everything that comes through that fucking box!! Try telling that to snowflakes, and you, too, will be labeled a hillary supporter!! Real news reporters, as well as, real journalists are labeled liberals, if they report ANYTHING greasy our fucked up, very corrupt to the core govt, does, particularly, when they report greasy shit on the current regime boss!! SHEEPLE/SNOWFLAKES do exist!!

  • g.johnon

    Donald, really? your working for the swamp now? or are you just part of it

  • David

    sending American Troops into Syria will throw cold water on any relationship Trump wants to have with Putin. Bad Move!