Special Forces To Go To Syria Very Soon: US
By Agence France-Presse
November 24, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" - "Daily
News" - Dozens of U.S. special operations
forces will arrive in Syria “very soon,” as promised by U.S.
President Barack Obama’s administration, a senior U.S. official said
The troops will have the task of organizing local forces battling
the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in
northern Syria, according to the special presidential envoy for the
Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, Brett McGurk.
“They will be going in very soon,” McGurk told CBS television’s
“Face the Nation” program.
In late October, Obama authorized no more than 50 special operations
forces to deploy to northern Syria in a non-combatant, advisory role
to help coordinate local ground troops and anti-ISIL coalition
It marks the first official deployment of U.S. troops on the ground
in Syria since an international coalition formed to counter the
violent extremist group.
The U.S. troops will assist an Arab-Kurd coalition that includes the
main Syrian Kurdish militia the People’s Protection Units (YPG),
Arab groups and Syriac Christians.
These local forces “have been doing a very successful operation,”
McGurk said. “This is focused on isolating the capital of ISIL in
He said they have retaken about 1,100 square kilometers in the last
two weeks and killed about 300 ISIL fighters. The U.S.-led coalition
aims to “suffocate and strangle them in the core” of ISIL in Iraq
and Syria through multiple coordinated offensives, McGurk said.
The coalition is also trying to cut off access for ISIL to the
Syrian border in order to cut off the main access route between
Raqqa and the Iraqi city of Mosul, McGurk said.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry travelled to the Gulf
on Nov. 23 to stress the urgent need to unite a region riven by
conflict against the threat from ISIL.
Kerry believes his ambitious plan to bring Syria’s other warring
parties to the negotiating table is the key to isolating and
ultimately defeating the extremists.
Kerry told reporters in Abu Dhabi that he was in the region to
encourage his Emirati and Saudi allies in their efforts to convince
Syria’s rebel factions to agree to a cease-fire with President
Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
“That’s why I’m here,” he told reporters, repeating his hope that a
cease-fire between the opposition and the government could be struck
“in a few weeks.”
“We’re working very hard to accelerate the efforts out of Vienna, to
give that diplomatic process life,” he said.
“You can be confident that the diplomatic front is in high gear,
with a very real plan on the table to be implemented.”
Kerry held meetings with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin
Zayed al-Nahyan and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh
Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
Last month, 17 nations plus the United Nations, Arab League and
European Union met in Vienna to set a framework for a cease-fire
and peace talks to halt Syria’s civil war.