WASHINGTON (AP) — American ground troops may be needed to battle Islamic State forces in the Middle East if President Barack Obama’s current strategy fails, the nation’s top military officer said Tuesday as Congress plunged into an election-year debate of Obama’s plan to expand airstrikes and train Syrian rebels.
A White House spokesman said quickly the president “will not” send ground forces into combat, but Gen. Martin Dempsey said Obama had personally told him to come back on a “case by case basis” if the military situation changed.
“To be clear, if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the president,” Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, declared in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee. He referred to the militants by an alternative name.
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