President of the US, Barack Obama will make an announcement regarding an additional 250 special operations forces to be sent to Syria in the coming weeks, according to White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes.
“Our special forces can provide critical expertise” to Syrian forces, Rhodes said, adding that those Syrian troops “will be the ones doing the fighting.”
He said this announcement would bring the number of U.S. special forces in the country to 300.
The announcement is expected to come while the President visits Germany.
The troops will be expanding the ongoing U.S. effort to bring more Syrian Arab fighters into units the U.S. supports in northern Syria that have largely been manned by the Kurds, an official said.
The plan calls for the additional U.S. forces to “advise and assist” forces in the area whom the U.S. hopes may eventually grow strong enough to take back territory around Raqqa, Syria, where ISIS is based.
These troops are not expected to engage in combat operations or to participate in target-to-kill teams but will be armed to defend themselves, one official said.
“As we have noted in recent days, the President has authorized a series of steps to increase support for our partners in the region, including Iraqi security forces as well as local Syrian forces who are taking the fight to ISIL,” a senior administration official said, using a different acronym for ISIS.
“The President during his remarks at the Hannover Messe fairgrounds on Monday will speak to this additional step.”
The official said the president was persuaded to take this additional step because of recent successes against ISIS.