US switches tactics against ISIS

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Photo credit to “The US Army (Flickr)

In a bold move, the US has now authorised the use of ground forces in its ongoing fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Defence Secretary, Ash Carter, has said that “direct action” will be taken against high value targets, and hinted at the use of ground troops for ground raids against the militant group.

This change in tactics comes a week after US and Iraqi troops rescued a vast number of hostages from ISIS, and is seen by many as a response to a lack of progress following air strikes in the region. The US currently has around 3,500 troops in Iraq, and is now expected to deploy more in neighbouring Syria to fight alongside Kurdish militants and the Free Syrian Army against the Islamic State militants.

Speaking to reports, Mr Carter said that the US “won’t hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL (ISIS) or conducting such missions directly, whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground.”

Carter claims that the main concentration of troops will be in the Syrian city of Raqqa, which ISIS have declared their capital in the nation, and also in Ramadi, which is the capital of the Anbar province of Iraq.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence, told us that Britain had no future plans to authorize troops on the ground in either Syria or Iraq.

With regards to this week’s upcoming peace talks in Vienna, a spokesperson from the Iranian government has announced that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will be in attendance. This represents a significant development as it is the first time that Iran, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Asaad has been involved in the talks, in an attempt to find a political solution to the civil war.

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