Pentagon Stands By Noncombat Role Of U.S. Forces Despite Reports In Syria


The Washington Times reports:  The Pentagon insisted Thursday that U.S. forces in Syria and elsewhere in the region remain in noncombat roles despite reports that they are fighting alongside Syrian front-line troops in their push to retake the Islamic State group’s capital in Raqqa.

In an terse exchange with reporters Thursday, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook defended the Defense Department’s claim that American special operations forces were not engaged in combat in Syria.

“They are in an advise-and-assist mission,” Mr. Cook said. “They are not on the front lines.”

Mr. Cook made the comments shortly after Agence France-Presse published pictures of U.S. special operations forces fighting alongside members of the Syrian Defense Forces 22 miles outside of Raqqa.