U.S. to use ground troops against ISIS in Syria, Iraq

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A US Special Operations Forces soldier leads a group of Iraqi soldiers while practicing movement techniques. File photo

ARA News 

DAMASCUS – The United States and allies need to take back Syria’s Raqqa and Iraq’s Mosul from the fist of the Islamic State (ISIS) extremist group, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Friday.

Carter said that the U.S.-led coalition “will use boots on the ground” in order to retake the cities of Raqqa and Mosul from ISIS militants. 

“We need to destroy them in those two places, and I’d like to get on with that as soon as possible,” Carter told CNBC, speaking from Davos, Switzerland.

According to the Defense Secretary, U.S. and allies have recently bombed ISIS supply routes between Raqqa and Mosul, cutting off communication between the two cities –which are considered major bastions for the radical group in Syria and Iraq. 

“That’ll essentially separate the Iraqi theater from the Syrian theater,” Carter said.

He added that more ground soldiers will be added “to support those already there”. The coalition’s strategy also includes mobilizing local forces “rather than trying to substitute for them”.

Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi 

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