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Foreign policy

U.S. boots on the ground are 'invaders,' says Syria's Assad

The U.S. ground troops deployed to Syria by the Trump administration to join the battle to retake Raqqa from the Islamic State are not welcome, said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in an interview published Saturday. "Any foreign troops coming to Syria without our invitation or consultation or permission, they are invaders, whether they are American, Turkish, or any other one," he charged.

"And we don't think this is going to help. What are they going to do? To fight ISIS? The Americans lost nearly every war. They lost in Iraq, they had to withdraw at the end. Even in Somalia, let alone Vietnam in the past and Afghanistan," Assad continued. "They didn't succeed anywhere they sent troops, they only create a mess; they are very good in creating problems and destroying, but they are very bad in finding solutions."

Though U.S. intervention in Syria, which is beset by the twin crises of civil war and ISIS invasion, began under President Obama, President Trump's recent decision to deploy 400 Marines and Army Rangers marks the first time U.S. troops will engage in conventional warfare in the country instead of maintaining an advisory role.