The first update offered since the US first announced plans to deploy ground troops in Syria, US Special Envoy Brett McGurk today reported that those troops would be arriving to embed with rebels “very soon.” Previous reports have put the number of troops between 30 and 50.
Though previous comments from US officials have suggested the deployment is purely “non-combat” in nature, McGurk suggested the goal of the deployments was to “suffocate and strangle” the core of ISIS, and to cut off access between the ISIS capital city of Raqqa and it’s largest city of Mosul.
The US hasn’t officially confirmed what faction they’ll be embedding troops with in Syria, though the deployments are reportedly in the Hasakeh Province, which almost certainly means they’ll embed with Kurdish YPG forces.
The US has embedded troops with the Kurdish Peshmerga in Iraq as well in the war against ISIS, and on at least one occasion has seen troops enter direct combat as a result, despite administration protestations that there will be no combat boots on the ground in either country.
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