The U.S. will reinforce its fight against ISIS in Iraq by sending specialized forces, the U.S. Department of Defense announced on Tuesday. In an address to Congress, Defense Secretary Ash Carter described the deployment as a "specialized expeditionary targeting force" and avoided bellicose language.
These special operators will over time be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence, and capture ISIL leaders.
According to Politico, the Iraqi government has approved of the intervention, whose main purpose is to defend Iraq's borders against the Islamic State. He told the House Armed Services Committee that the Special Operations Forces will be prepared to take on ISIS unilaterally in nearby Syria as well.
The decision represents the next step in the fight against ISIS, but this won't be the first time special ops have been sent to conduct raids in Iraq against the militant group. American special ops were sent to Iraq back in October to assist Kurdish fighters. They succeeded in rescuing 70 prisoners being held by ISIS, according to NBC News.
On Tuesday at a news conference in Paris, Obama described the persevering threat posed by ISIS and defended the United States' actions against it thus far.
ISIL is going to continue to be a deadly organization because of its social media, the resources that it has, and the networks of experiences fighters that it possesses ... And it's going to continue to be a serious threat for some time to come. But I'm confident that we're on the winning side of this.
This story is developing...