Less than 24 hours after appearing on the BBC to publicly “rule out” sending any ground troops to Syria, President Obama has announced his decision to send another 250 ground troops to Syria, saying it proves that the US considers fighting ISIS a “priority.”
Obama said the ground troops would “develop relationships with local tribes,” but declined to detail their mission beyond that. The troops are expected to be embedded with the Kurdish YPG, where some 50 other US troops already are.
In an interview with Charlie Rose, incredibly, President Obama presented the decision to send 250 more ground troops as not “sending ground troops in to fight,” though he refused to rule out the possibility of them fighting, and they’re definitely being sent in.
The Kurdish group the troops will embed with, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which consists of the YPG and a few hundred Christian militia members, welcomed the idea of sending more ground troops, but also pushed for the US to send them more weapons, complaining the US shipments so far have been just ammunition, and they want missiles.