March 15, 2017

Marines sent to Syria. Can US withstand pull of expanded military conflict?

By Nicholas Heras

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

Journalist(s) Howard LaFranchi

The 400 Marines dispatched to northern Syria last week to back up US-trained rebel forces battling the so-called Islamic State were plunked down into a war of acute risk and geopolitical complexity that is entering its seventh year.

Little fanfare accompanied announcement of the relatively diminutive deployment of an advanced artillery unit and support forces – a mission that brings to about 700 the total number of US troops on the ground in Syria, where a brutal civil war has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians and combatants and displaced millions.

Yet the Marines could end up being the bridgehead of a much larger US stabilization force that would hold a swath of eastern Syria once IS, or ISIS, is routed from its self-declared capital in Raqqa.

Read the full article at the Christian Science Monitor.

  • Nicholas Heras

    Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. He is also a Senior Analyst at the Jamestown Found...