US president Barack Obama announced on Monday that 250 US Special Forces soldiers will be sent to Syria to aid the fight against “Islamic State” (IS) by supporting Syrian ground troops.
“They’re not going to be leading the fight on the ground, but they will be essential in providing training and assisting local forces as they continue to drive back [IS],” Obama said on Monday during a visit to Hannover, Germany.
Obama’s decision means that US soldiers are aiding the fight against IS by provide training and equipment to other factions that are fighting the terrorist group, the Democratic senator Bernie Sanders said in a speech broadcast by MSNBC.Sanders’ rival for the Democratic nomination and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton also praised the move.
This decision comes following a number of victories in Syria that forced IS to withdraw from some locations.
Since September 2014, a US-led coalition has been attacking locations held by Al-Nusra Front, Jund Al-Aqsa, IS, and Ahrar Ash-Sham inside Syria.
Obama’s decision comes a few days after his declaration that any attempt to send ground troops with the purpose of removing Syrian president Bashar al-Assad would be a mistake.
The US-led coalition’s combined joint task force, named Operation Inherent Resolve, has carried out 25 airstrikes on IS in both Syria and Iraq, the coalition announced on Tuesday.
The coalition said that five attacks were carried out on tactical targets in Manbij and Ma’ara, in Syria.
Geneva peace talks between representatives of the Assad regime and opposition forces stalled earlier this month when the opposition suspended its participation. The decision came after the regime’s delegation refused to discuss a political transition.