(Washington, D.C.) — The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told a House panel that the U.S. military is considering having American ground forces accompany their counterparts in Iraq on complex operations.
“There are some places along the path that I think will be fairly complex terrain for [the Iraqi forces] including for example Mosul and eventually as they need to restore the border between Iraq and Syria,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, the top U.S. military official told the House Armed Services Committee. “I’m not predicting at this point that I wold recommend that those forces in Mosul and along the border would need to be accompanied by U.S. forces, but we’re certainly considering it.”
Dempsey later added that if U.S. ground troops are needed, that force will be “modest.”
President Obama and the Pentagon have repeatedly said there will be no American ground troops involved in the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS and ISIL) in Iraq and Syria.
“U.S. military personnel will not be engaged in a ground combat mission,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who testified alongside Gen. Dempsey, told the House panel.