President Obama is prepared to escalate military operations in Syria against ISIS, calling up Special Operations Forces to deploy in the area to assist local ground forces.
That decision occurs two years after he promised never to put American boots on the ground in Syria.
“I will not put American boots on the ground in Syria,” he said in September 2013. “I will not pursue an open-ended action like Iraq or Afghanistan.”
As the conflict continued, Special Operations Forces were deployed in various areas of the Middle East to help coordinate military operations against ISIS, as the White House watered down the president’s rhetoric.
It wasn’t long before the the promise of no boots on the ground turned into “no combat boots on the ground” and finally no “large scale” ground invasion of Iraq or Syria.
The White House insisted that Obama had no interest in putting troops into Syria, even as late as last month.
“The United States recognizes that boots on the ground will be required to stabilize the situation inside of Syria and ultimately to root out ISIL,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained to reporters on September 30.
“The President has made clear that those will not be U.S. boots on the ground.”