OBAMA OUTLINES MILITARY PLAN IN SYRIA
HANOVER, GERMANY President Obama outlined plans Monday to bolster U.S. Special Operations forces in Syria, raising their number to as many as 300 troops in a move he said was needed to keep pressure on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
The president noted gains made by the current 50 special operators in missions to advise and assist local forces battling ISIL, which holds territory in Syria and Iraq.
Obama, shown above with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a technology trade fair also on Monday, emphasized that the new troops are “not going to be leading the fight on the ground” but that they would work with local forces.
The expanded U.S. military presence in Syria is aimed in part at helping to expand the ranks of Arab fighters in a network of groups, now dominated by Kurdish fighters, that the United States is backing.
“So make no mistake, these terrorists will learn the same lesson as others before them have, which is your hatred is no match for our nations, united in the defence of our way of life,” Obama said.
The president also pledged to continue pressing hard on diplomatic efforts to end Syria’s civil war, because “the suffering of the Syrian people has to end, and that requires an effective political transition.”