The Department of Defense may make a recommendation to the President that US combat troops should be sent to Syria.
Sources told CNN defense correspondent Barbara Starr that US defense officials may include a proposal for ground combat troops within their mandated recommendations to the President, which are due by the end of the month.
Starr suggested that US troops could be sent to Kuwait to stage for deployment into Syria within the next couple weeks.
“It’s possible that you may see conventional forces hit the ground in Syria for some period of time,” one defense official told CNN.
If approved by President Trump, it would be a sharp contrast in policy compared to former President Obama. Since 2013, President Obama repeatedly vowed that there would be no “boots on the ground” in Syria -saying the phrase publicly as many as sixteen times. But even Obama had to retract those famous words when he approved small teams of Special Operations forces to operate in Syria.
In December, the Department of Defense sent an additional 200 US Special Operations troops into Syria to support the 300 already authorized for the effort.
Last month the Pentagon announced a successful raid by Army on the ISIS-held territories of eastern Syria -killing two ISIS militants.
It is not clear how the conventional US ground troops would be used if approved by the President, but the current US special operators on the ground are helping local forces to retake the ISIS held city of al-Raqqa.
Sending troops to Syria is just one of several ideas that may be presented to the President, the official told CNN.
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