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Iran Press TV

'Iraq-style invasion' of Syria, Iraq not an option, says Obama

Iran Press TV

Thu Dec 3, 2015 4:23PM

US President Barack Obama has defended his decision to deploy special operations forces in Syria and Iraq to reportedly fight the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group, insisting that it will not lead to "an Iraq-style invasion" of the two countries.

The announcement came shortly after the arrival of 50 US Special Operation Forces in the Syrian cities of Kobani and Hasakah to "train and assist" Kurdish fighters in combating Daesh.

'When I said 'no boots on the ground' there, I think the American people understood generally that we're not going to do an Iraq-style invasion of Iraq or Syria,' Obama told CBS News in an interview with that aired Wednesday.

'What I have been very clear about is that we are going to systematically squeeze and ultimately destroy ISIL and that requires a military component to that,' he added.

Obama admitted that the new special forces are 'not going to single-handedly destroy ISIL,' but they will help by gathering intelligence against the group and help direct airstrikes.

Referring to the so-called US-led coalition's year-long aerial campaign against Daesh positions in Syria and Iraq, Obama defended his current strategy in fighting the group.

'We are developing partnerships, although they are not as strong as we want yet, with local tribes and Sunnis who are willing to fight ISIL,' Obama noted. 'And what I've said is we're going to continually modify and adjust our strategy based on those things that work and those things that may not work.'

As of November 3, the US has reportedly conducted 3,586 airstrikes in Iraq and 2,578 in Syria against the terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government.

'Iraq-war gave rise to Daesh'

Meanwhile on Tuesday, retired Lt.General Michael Flynn, former US Special Forces commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, referred to America's invasion of Iraq in 2003 as "a huge error" that lead to the creation of Daesh.

'The George W. Bush administration's Iraq war was a tremendous blunder that helped to create the self-proclaimed Daesh," he said.

Flynn pointed to the rise of the Takfiri group and linked it to the blinding emotions following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks which led the US in the wrong direction strategically.

In 2003, Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq under the pretext that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. In October 2004, however, a CIA report revealed that Saddam did not have any active WMD program at the time of the invasion.

More than one million Iraqis were killed as a result of the war and the subsequent occupation of the country, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored.

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