Daily Management Review

No Ground Troops to Fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria: NATO


12/07/2015




No Ground Troops to Fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria: NATO
Stressing the need to bolster local forces in the fight against Islamic State militants in Syria , NATO has ruled out sending ground troops to fight against Islamic State militants in Syria, NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg told a Swiss newspaper on Monday.
 
"That is not on the agenda of the coalition and the NATO allies," he told the Tages-Anzeiger paper while answering a question about dispatching ground forces to accompany air strikes.
 
"The United States has a limited number of special forces. In the foreground, however, is strengthening local forces. This is not easy, but it's the only option," he added
 
Stoltenberg described the fight against ISIS as a fight against "extremism and terrorism" and not a war between the West and the Islamic world.
 
"Muslims are on the front line in this war. Most victims are Muslims, and most of those who fight against the IS are Muslims. We can not carry on this struggle for them," he said.
 
NATO would help Turkey improve its air defenses after Turkey shot down a Russian military jet last month, Stoltenberg said. The World War II alliance is expected to finalize a package of measures for Turkey before Christmas.
 
Following the shoot down of the Russian fighter jet by Turkey there was need to calm the standoff, Stoltenberg said.
 
"Now it is important to de-escalate and to develop mechanisms to prevent similar incidents in the future. We see a significant build-up of the Russian military presence from the far north to the Mediterranean. There, too, we need to avoid similar incidents such as in Turkey," he said.
 
Claiming that so far Russia has attacked other groups and focused on supporting the Assad regime, Stoltenberg said that Russia needs to "play a more constructive role in the fight against IS.”
Meanwhile, in their renewed fighting against the Islamic state, the Combined Joint Task Forces claimed that the United States and its allies staged 20 air strikes targeting Islamic State in Syria and Iraq on Sunday.
 
Nine strikes were made near Al Hawl, Dayr Ar Zawr and Mar'a in Syria by the U.S.-led coalition which hit four Islamic State oil well heads as well as four of the militants' tactical units, the coalition said in the statement on Monday.
 
Six tactical units, 13 fighting positions and other targets were hit in another 11 strikes near four cities in Iraq, the statement said.
 
One the other hand U.S. President Barack Obama put an end to speculations announcing that the country was not heading for another invasion like the one in 2003, explaining last week’s decision to send more U.S. special forces to combat Islamic State in Iraq.
 
However even as Obama made the comments, the Pentagon announced it would send a new force of special operations troops.
 
Brett McGurk, U.S. President Barack Obama's envoy to the U.S.-led coalition that is targeting Islamic State, on Monday, denied on his Twitter account there had been no coalition strikes anywhere within 55 kilometers (35 miles) of the Syrian army camp in Deir al Zor province.
 
(Source:www.reuters.com) 






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