The US War Department might propose that the US send conventional ground combat forces into northern Syria for the first time to speed up the fight against Daesh [the Arabic acronym for the terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL' group], the CNN reported.
"It's possible that you may see conventional forces hit the ground in Syria for some period of time," one US official told CNN.
But the official emphasized that any decision is ultimately up to President Donald Trump, who has ordered his war secretary to come up with a proposal to combat Daesh before the end of the month.
The move would significantly alter US military operations in Syria if approved and could put troops on the ground within weeks.
Until now, only small teams made up largely of Special Operations forces have operated in Syria, providing training and assistance to anti-Daesh opposition groups on the ground.
Conventional units operate in larger numbers and would require a more significant footprint of security protection both on the ground and in the air.
US officials are characterizing the concept of deploying ground troops as a point of discussion, stopping short of saying it's a formal proposal.
Relatively, the Obama administration never embraced the idea of ground combat troops because of the inherent risks involved. If the idea is approved, it would signal a fundamental change in the Trump administration's willingness to accept such risk.
For one thing, it would be a sign of an increased willingness by War Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford to accept more risk for US troops in hope of gaining ground on Daesh.
At his confirmation hearing, Mattis was not asked about putting more troops into Syria, but he did explain how he would seek to change US military efforts in Iraq and Syria from Obama administration.
"I think it's getting there as rapidly as possible, where it would be a more accelerated campaign," Mattis said.
Source: CNN, Edited by website team