Pentagon Might Propose Sending Ground Troops To Syria by Barbara Starr, CNN
The Defense Department might propose that the US send conventional ground combat forces into northern Syria for the first time to speed up the fight against ISIS, CNN has learned.
"It's possible that you may see conventional forces hit the ground in Syria for some period of time," one defense official told CNN.
But the official emphasized that any decision is ultimately up to President Donald Trump, who has ordered his defense secretary to come up with a proposal to combat ISIS before the end of the month.
The move would significantly alter US military operations in Syria if approved and could put troops on the ground within weeks.
Until now, only small teams made up largely of Special Operations forces have operated in Syria, providing training and assistance to anti-ISIS opposition groups on the ground.
Conventional units operate in larger numbers and would require a more significant footprint of security protection both on the ground and in the air.
US officials are characterizing the concept of deploying ground troops as a point of discussion, stopping short of saying it's a formal proposal.
What their exact mission would be is not yet clear, but one goal of their presence would be to help reassure Turkey that Kurdish forces are not posing a threat to Ankara's interests. It's possible some troops would deploy first to Kuwait and then move into Syria…