The Pentagon is reportedly considering sending conventional ground troops into northern Syria for the first time to accelerate the fight against Isis.
Only small teams of US special operation forces are currently authorised in the country and the decision to send ground troops would be in the hands of President Trump, who recently ordered his defence secretary, James Mattis, to draft a new proposal to fight the terror network within 30 days.
“It’s possible that you may see conventional forces hit the ground in Syria for some period of time,” one defence official told CNN on Wednesday. US officials told the network that the idea is merely a “point of discussion” rather than a formal proposal.
It’s currently unclear exactly what the mission would be but one reported goal would be to reassure Turkey that Kurdish forces aren’t a threat to their interests.
Another unnamed official explained that the 30-day review is still underway and no options have been presented to President Trump.
“It’s way, way speculative,” the official told Reuters, responding to the report.
Defense Secretary Mattis previously said at his confirmation hearings that he separate himself from the Obama administration’s policies to fight jihadists in Syria and Iraq. “I think it’s getting there as rapidly as possible,” he said, “where it would be a more accelerated campaign.”