The White House announced on Friday that the United States will be sending ground troops to Syria to combat ISIS.
NBC News reports that, “The U.S. will send a small number of U.S. special operations forces into Syria as part of a shift in its strategy against ISIS, officials said Friday.”
The contingent will be less than 50 troops who will partner with forces on the ground in taking the fight to ISIS.
“We have been focused on intensifying elements of our strategy that have been working, while also moving away from elements of our approach that have proven less effective,” the official explained.
“The U.S. will also boost its military footprint in confronting ISIS in Syria by deploying A-10 and F-15 fighter jets to an airbase in Turkey. And the U.S. is also eyeing the establishment of a Special Forces task force in Iraq to boost U.S. efforts to target ISIS and its leaders,” according to CNN.
The Obama administration emphasized the move was a “shift” but not a “change” in U.S. strategy in the region.
The U.S. special operations forces will be stationed in Northern Syria.
The move comes as the Russians continue to increase their military presence in Syria and sets up the possibility of confrontation between the two powers. Moscow is backing the regime of Bashar al-Assad, while the U.S. is standing with Syrian rebels, who are fighting both Assad and ISIS.
“[President] Obama has long resisted an American military presence on the ground to combat ISIS in Iraq and Syria but has reluctantly escalated U.S. involvement in that fight over time since launching the military effort in 2014,” CNN reports.
Secretary of State John Kerry is taking part in peace talks in Vienna regarding ending the Syrian civil war. Others involved in the talks include Russia, Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Iran will also be joining the deliberations.
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.