President Obama is expected to announce plans Friday to deploy a small number of troops to serve in an advisory role in Syria, administration and congressional sources told Reuters.
One unnamed source told the news organization the number of special operations forces set for deployment is “tiny,” but didn’t offer a specific number.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter had said earlier this week in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee the Pentagon would be ramping up attacks on ISIS, including with “direct action on the ground” in Iraq and Syria.
Carter also said “things are complicated” in reference to the action. Obama has repeatedly said American troops in the region would not be directly engaged in combat.
Earlier this month, Obama announced plans to keep 5,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the end of his presidency in 2017. The military action means Obama’s successor will likely inherit wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, two conflicts Obama campaigned to end.
This post has been updated.