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Carter: US Special Forces Deploying To Conduct ‘Unilateral Operations in Syria’

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said U.S. Special Forces will be deployed to Syria to conduct “unilateral operations in Syria” and Iraq during a Tuesday testimony in front of the House Armed Services Committee.

The announcement not only marks an increase in U.S. operations on the ground in Iraq, but also a potential expansion of the operation with U.S. forces directly operating in Syria in intelligence gathering missions, raids and hostage rescue missions. Carter focused on the importance of gathering intelligence to make operations against ISIS more effective, noting special operators have already been conducting such raids.

When asked about what the extent and projection of the forces will be, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford, who joined Carter in front of HASC, explained that forces will go where the enemy is, noting the enemy “does not respect borders” and operations will be “intelligence driven.”

Carter and Dunford’s testimony seems to counter President Barack Obama’s recent claim that despite the ISIS attacks in Paris earlier this month, the U.S. will not put boots on the ground to fight ISIS.

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