President Obama has authorized the deployment of an additional 1,500 American troops to Iraq in the coming months, doubling the number of Americans meant to train and advise Iraqi and Kurdish forces.And as my sources say, they DO plan to be shot at. Whether they make incursions into Syria from Iraq, or just plan to raise holy hell on the Iraq side of the border in order to draw resources away from the Turkish border remains unanswered at this time.
The trainers and advisers are to help Iraqis and Kurds as they plan a major offensive expected next spring against Islamic State fighters who have poured into Iraq from Syria.
Pentagon officials said Friday that military advisers would establish training sites across Iraq in a significant expansion of the American military campaign in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State. A Defense Department official said that a number of military personnel would deploy specifically to Anbar Province, the Sunni stronghold in western Iraq
What hasn't been queried yet is the Putin factor. How will Vlad react to U.S. forces making incursions into Syria? If that is seen as an additional threat to his friend Assad, what will the reaction be? Russia is already increasing the pressure in eastern Ukraine, and stepping up provocative air activity in western Europe.
NATO Tracks Large-Scale Russia Air Activity in Europe - WSJ
Russian military aircraft conducted aerial maneuvers around Europe this week on a scale seldom seen since the end of the Cold War, prompting NATO jets to scramble in another sign of how raw East-West relations have grown.Ukraine accuses Russia of sending dozens of tanks into its territory - CNN
Amid rising tensions and fresh violence, Ukrainian authorities on Friday accused Russia of sending dozens of its military vehicles into its territory -- though the Kremlin have knocked down such reports as unfounded and "provocative."And what is Turkey's reaction if the U.S. is only seen to be helping the Kurds at the Turkish border and not pushing on the Assad regime?
It's complicated, I know. But now is not the time for indecision or inaction. Is our President up to the task?