Putting a number of conventional U.S. military forces into Syria is one of the options expected to be presented to President Donald Trump later this month as part of the effort to accelerate the defeat of ISIS, two senior U.S. defense officials told NBC News on Thursday.
The troops would be sent in to serve as enablers, force protection and engineering advisers — similar to the way the United States has worked alongside the Iraqi Security Forces in Iraq.
The United States does already have conventional forces operating in Syria. However, under the Obama administration, the rules for how many troops are allowed in the country have been very specific and set by the White House. For example, the last increase allowed 203 more troops to operate in Syria.
The possible proposal could mean that most of the forces who typically rotate in and out for short durations would stay in country and build out an operating location or forward operating base.