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Iran Press TV

'US special troops would only fight Daesh in Syria'

Iran Press TV

Sat Oct 31, 2015 2:32PM

US Secretary of State John Kerry says a number of American special operations troops, due to be deployed to Syria, would only fight the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the Arab country.

'President [Barack] Obama has made a very strong and forceful and simple decision entirely in keeping with his originally stated policy that we must defeat and destroy Daesh,' Kerry told a news briefing during a visit to the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, on Saturday.

He said the forces that are the first pledge of American military boots on the ground in the country, are not going to get involved in "Syria's civil war."

"It is not an action focused on [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, it focused exclusively on Daesh and in augmenting our ability to rapidly attack Daesh,' he added.

On Friday, the Obama administration announced that it would deploy up to 50 special operations troops to northern Syria to advise "Kurdish and Arab forces" in their fight against Daesh (ISIL) militants.

The US and its regional allies, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, have been backing militants fighting the Syrian government.

US warplanes have been bombing purported Daesh positions in Iraq and Syria for over a year now. But American ground troops have rarely, if ever, participated directly in combat operations against Daesh terrorists.

Asked about the prospect of Washington sending more troops to Syria, Kerry said he could not predict the future, but did not rule out a further US escalation of the fight.

The Obama administration has once again come under fire in Congress "for another insufficient step" in dealing with the Syrian conflict.

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain called the move 'another insufficient step in the administration's policy" to oust president Assad.

'Such grudging incrementalism is woefully inadequate to the scale of the challenge we face,' McCain said Friday.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. ISIL terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control parts of Syria and Iraq.

Observers say while the US and its allies claim they are fighting against terrorist groups like ISIL, they in fact helped create and train those organizations to affect their policies in the Middle East.



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