Trump Escalates Unchecked War with U.S. Marines Now Inside Syria
U.S. marines are in Syria to augment the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) in the battle for Raqqa, the militant group’s de facto capital, having quietly arrived in the country weeks ago, defense officials confirmed to the Washington Post on Wednesday.
About 400 new troops have been deployed overall, in addition to the 500 already on the ground. The plan had been in the works “for some time,” according to the Post‘s Dan Lamothe and Thomas Gibbons-Neff.
The plan also reportedly includes more Special Operations troops and attack helicopters. Lamothe and Gibbons-Neff write:
Although the deployment is temporary, it may be a signal that the Trump administration will give the Pentagon more flexibility in calling the shots in the fight against ISIS, as military commanders had portrayed themselves as being micromanaged under former President Barack Obama, the Associated Press notes.
The Obama administration’s still-existing limits say the military can have no more than 503 U.S. forces in Syria—but temporary personnel do not count towards that cap.
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