Continuing the narrative that the ever-growing number of US troops being sent to carry out combat operations across Iraq and Syria are “non-combat,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer today claimed that the US Marines who were recently deployed to the outskirts of the ISIS capital of Raqqa, along with M777 howitzers to fire against the city, are “advisers.”
The claim is important because there is no authorization of war by Congress that justifies the operation, and Spicer is seeking to argue that this isn’t the sort of “hostile action” that would require any Congressional approval, but just another advisory mission.
Yet the troops were presented as explicitly going there to fire artillery shells at a city, which unless they are arguing means the US Marines are “advising” the howitzers on when to fire and when not to fire, doesn’t make any sense as presented by Spicer.
Even the Marines told a different story, arguing that the Marines were providing “fire support” for the Kurdish forces attacking Raqqa. That appears more accurate, but also underscores that this is something other than a advisory operation.