NEW YORK, August 12 (RIA Novosti) – It is “highly likely” that US Special Forces are already operating on Iraqi soil, despite claims by US officials, former US diplomat Peter Van Buren told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
“It is highly likely that US Special Forces are already active on the ground in Iraq, conducting reconnaissance missions and laser-designating targets for circling US aircraft,” said Van Buren, a former US official, who spent a year in Iraq during his 24-year State Department career.
“If US planes are overhead, US search-and-rescue assets are close by, perhaps in desert forward operating positions. This is how bigger wars begin,” the ex-diplomat pointed out.
Van Buren, the author of “We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People”, counters Washington’s official position. US President Barack Obama says he will not use ground troops in Iraq.
“The only lasting solution is for Iraqis to come together and form an inclusive government – one that represents the legitimate interests of all Iraqis, and one that can unify the country’s fight against ISIL,” Obama said on Monday.
The US has launched airstrikes against the Islamic State, which is also known as ISIS and ISIL. The Sunni Muslim group controls swathes of Iraq and Syria and recent attacks on Kurdish-run northern Iraq have forced tens of thousands of Christians to flee their homes.