Obama says US special ops in Syria won't be on front lines

Obama says US special operations forces in Syria will not be 'on the front lines'

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

US President Barack Obama said on Monday in an interview that the deployment of US special operations troops in Syria does not mean that they will be fighting against Daesh on the front lines.

The White House announced last week that the US will deploy less than 50 special operations troops in Syria to "train, advice and assist" local forces to fight against Daesh.

Obama also stressed that the special ops troops will not fight on the front lines against Daesh and added that this was merely an extension of what the US was already doing.

"Keep in mind that we have run special ops already and really this is just an extension of what we are continuing to do," Obama said in an interview.

"We are not putting US troops on the front lines fighting firefights with ISIL [Daesh]," said Obama.

"I have been consistent throughout that we are not going to be fighting like we did in Iraq with battalions and occupations. That doesn't solve the problem."

President Obama in September 2013 promised to not send American troops to Syria.

The US has been conducting air strikes against Daesh through Central Command forces with partner nations in the Combined Joint Task Force, (CJTF) under Operation Inherent Resolve since September 2014.

According to information given by the Department of Defence the cost of operations against ISIS has reached $5 billion and the average daily cost is $11 million.

The US has conducted at least 6,059 air strikes in Iraq and Syria (3,519 Iraq / 2,540 Syria) and the rest of the Coalition has conducted at least 1,667 air strikes in Iraq and Syria (1,527 Iraq /140 Syria), according to Pentagon information released in October.

An American soldier was killed in Iraq recently during a special US military operation while helping Kurdish Peshmerga commandos rescue dozens of Arab hostages in the Iraqi city of Hawija.

The incident marks the first American soldier to be killed by Daesh terrorists in Iraq since the US withdrew from the country in 2011.

The civil war in Syria became more complex when the Russian Federation conducted air strikes in late September against Syrian opposition forces fighting Bashar al Assad's regime as well as Daesh.

TRTWorld and agencies