Kerry concedes need for ground offensive against ISIS that will include Middle East countries

Washington's top diplomat did assert, however, that the White House has ruled out that chance of US forces being deployed for such an endeavor.

September 3, 2015 14:11
2 minute read.
John Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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US Secretary of State John Kerry has for the first time expressed  the need for a ground operation against the Islamic State, saying "there will need to be people on the ground," and that he was "convinced there will be at the appropriate moment."

The ultra-violent Islamist organization "has made that more clear putting its exclamation point on that reality," Kerry told CNN's Christian Amanpour on Wednesday.

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Washington's top diplomat did assert, however, that the White House has ruled out the chance of US forces being deployed for such an endeavor.

"For the time being the president has made it clear that American troops are not part of that equation, and I don't think that he has any plans to change that," Kerry said.

Kerry referred to  "very specific ways" of  defeating the self-styled Caliphate, methods that, he said, include "other countries in the region."

"There are others who are talking about it, there are people in the region who are capable of that," Kerry went on, without naming which specific countries would potentially contribute ground forces to a theoretical intervention in Syria's bloody four year civil conflict.

Kerry did however identify " people in Syria," and "Syrians oppositionists,"

Kerry's reference to elements already involved in the ongoing crisis in Syria comes in light of another senior American figure's suggestions of using more "moderate" al-Qaida branches as a proxy against the group's Islamic State adversary.

According to the Daily Beast, retired US army general and former Central Intelligence Agency director David Petraeus has been "quietly urging US officials" to enlist more reasonable elements within the al-Nusra front, al-Qaida's Syrian branch who has committed its fair share of atrocities since emerging as a major opposition faction in the fight against Damascus.

“As prospects for Assad dim, opposition groups not already aligned with the US or our partners will face a choice,” one US intelligence official told The Daily Beast.

“Groups that try to cater to both hardliners and the West could find themselves without any friends, having distanced themselves from groups like al-Qaida but still viewed as extremists by the moderate opposition and their supporters,” the official said, referring to hard-line rebel elements who might possibly form a US backed anti-ISIS coalition.

While Kerry remained vague on the identity of these actors, he claimed that  "over the next months," in upcoming meetings "at the UN national Assembly there will be increased focused" on the issue which may result in a more detailed strategy.

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