U.S. officials announce that they will send some special operations forces to Syria, as diplomats at a meeting in Vienna call for a nationwide truce. Diane Hodges reports.
U.S. to put first “boots on the ground” in Syria
For the first time, U.S. troops are joining the fight against the militant group Islamic State on the ground in Syria.
The White House announced the move on Friday, calling it a continuation of U.S. efforts to help build local resistance to the group ISIL.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) JOSH EARNEST, SAYING:
“The president did make a decision to intensify that support by offering a small number of U.S. special operations military personnel to offer them some advice and assistance on the ground as they take the fight to ISIL.”
The announcement came shortly before 17 countries, the European Union and the United Nations called for a nationwide truce in Syria’s civil war at talks in Vienna.
The group also called for nationwide elections to set up a new government in Syria.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY, SAYING:
“We invited the UN to convene representatives of the government of Syria and the Syrian opposition for a political process leading to a credible, inclusive, non-sectarian governance, followed by a new constitution and elections.
But the problem of which rebel groups should be included in the talks remains.
The diplomats are scheduled to meet again in two weeks.