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SECDEF: Boots On The Ground Needed To Take Back Key ISIS-Held Cities

It is believed there are currently 3,550 U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria. These forces are involved in a variety of operations ranging from special forces raids on ISIS targets to general advising of local Iraqi security forces. Carter did not mention if any additional U.S. forces would be added to take back Raqqa and Mosul.

The Obama administration — once vehemently opposed to putting boots on the ground against ISIS — has taken a decidedly different approach since early December when Carter testified to Congress that U.S. forces would conduct “unilateral operations in Syria.”

Carter’s comments Friday come just days before key peace talks regarding the ongoing conflict in Syria in Geneva, Switzerland.

Though Carter was forthcoming regarding the use of U.S. forces to take back Mosul and Raqqa, he also emphasized local forces must play the primary role against ISIS, “it must be local forces who deliver (ISIS) a lasting defeat, because only they can secure and govern the territory by building long-term trust within the populations they liberate.”

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 if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.


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