“I want to be clear: the American forces that have been deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission.”
That’s what President Obama told troops at an Air Force base in Florida this past September after he had ordered U.S. military “advisers” back into Iraq. It was one of several times that Obama publicly declared that his “no boots on the ground” policy in the country besieged by ISIS would definitely keep American forces from being involved in combat there.
Despite some of his top military commanders suggesting that U.S. military personnel might have to resume fighting in Iraq, the president was adamant, pledging repeatedly that the thousands of “advisers, trainers and security personnel” he ordered to Iraq would not become involved in the shooting.
Well, as so often is the case with an Obama promise to America, the situation has “evolved” in a “that was then, this is now” scenario.
Advertisement - story continues below
According to a report at threepercenternation.com, U.S. Special Forces have for the first time since their return to Iraq engaged ISIS in a ground combat mission.
Details of the engagement are few, but reportedly the Americans were stationed in an Iraqi Army outpost when ISIS fighters attacked. The resulting clash lasted for more than two hours, say sources in the area.
The American forces responded “equipped with light and medium weapons, supported by F-18 fighter jets” according to sources on the ground.
A post on the website shafaaq.com — which describes itself as a chronicler of daily events in Iraq — quoted an Iraqi source with apparent knowledge of the first-of-its-kind combat:
Sheikh Mahmud Nimrawi, a prominent tribal leader in the region, said that “US forces intervened because of ISIS started to come near the base , which they are stationed in so out of self-defense , they responded , welcoming the US intervention, which I hope will “not be the last.”
A report on the battle posted at rt.com notes that U.S. officials have not yet confirmed the clash involving American ground forces.
The Pentagon has not released information on any American involvement in ground fighting with Islamic State.
Since announcing US-led-coalition airstrikes against Islamic State in August, US President Barack Obama has repeatedly stated that he would not commit troops to another ground war in Iraq.