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US Does Not Plan to Increase Number of Special Forces in Syria - Pentagon

Sputnik News

07:35 23.01.2016(updated 07:36 23.01.2016)

The United States is not planning on increasing the number of its special forces in Syria, US Department of Defense spokesman Peter Cook told Sputnik on Friday.

DAVOS (Sputnik) – In October, the White House revealed plans to send up to 50 special operations troops to Syria to aid the so-called moderate opposition. On Friday, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said that boots on the ground would be part of the US strategy to defeat the Daesh.

'Fifty special operations forces have been talked about for some time, there is no difference, there is no increase. It is the same decision as a few months ago,' Cook said.

'We have discussed that a small number of American special operations forces have been in Syria to try and enable Syrian opposition forces, Syrian Arab forces, Syrian Arab coalition,' Cook added.

Since 2014, the US-led coalition of some 60 nations has been carrying out airstrikes against the Daesh first in Iraq and later in Syria – albeit without the approval of the Syrian government or the UN Security Council.

Russia has been carrying out separate precision airstrikes against Daesh and al-Nusra Front in Syria since September 30, at the request of President Bashar Assad. Both groups are outlawed in Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin repeatedly said that the Russian forces would provide support to the Syrian Army only by air, ruling out the possibility of Russian ground operations in the country


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