- - Tuesday, December 1, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In an appearance before the House Armed Services Committee, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the formation and deployment of a new “specialized expeditionary targeting force against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. The new action will be aimed at increasing the number of airstrikes and targeted raids against ISIS.

“Next, in full coordination with the Government of Iraq, we’re deploying a specialized expeditionary targeting force to assist Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces and to put even more pressure on ISIL,” Mr. Carter said. “These special operators will over time be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence, and capture ISIL leaders.”

We reported here yesterday that American troops had been in the fight more than admitted by the White House. The additional troops will be above and beyond the approximately fifty operators already announced by the Defense Department.

This announcement marks the first serious expansion of United States armed forces on the ground in the Middle East to combat the Islamic State since the Obama administration removed all American forces from Iraq several years ago.

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