Obama Sending 250 Troops to Syria to Fight ISIS
He wants Special Forces additions to keep up 'momentum'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2016 7:03 AM CDT
President Barack Obama speaks at the Hannover Messe, the world's largest industrial technology trade fair, in Hannover, northern Germany, on Monday.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – Last week, President Obama announced the US is sending more than 200 additional troops to Iraq to help fight ISIS, and Monday he made a similar declaration regarding Syria, Reuters reports. "Given the success, I've approved the deployment of up to 250 additional US personnel in Syria, including special forces to keep up this momentum," Obama said from Germany at the tail end of an overseas tour. "They're not going to be leading the fight on the ground, but they will be essential in providing the training and assisting local forces as they continue to drive [ISIS] back." The city of Raqqa has become one of the extremist group's strongholds, and the newly pledged troops will bring the total number of US soldiers up to 300.

Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said before Obama's announcement that even though these new troops would be in "harm's way," they're technically not being sent on a combat mission, ABC News notes. Obama also implored others to step up their game in combating the militants. "Even as European countries make important contributions against (ISIS,) Europe, including NATO, can still do more," he said. The president also praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel for setting the example of helping those in need due to violence in the Middle East, saying, "We can't turn our backs on fellow human beings who are here now and need our help now," per the AP. (The Pentagon is trying to do its part by hitting ISIS online.)