Published On: Wed, Apr 27th, 2016

John Kirby, State Department, lies with denial of ‘no boots on the ground’ strategy in Syria

The State Department spokesman denied that the Obama administration promised a “no boots on the ground” strategy in Syria, contradicting at least two years’ worth of reassurances from President Obama and his administration. In fact, this USA Today post from October contradicts the remarks this week, listing 16 references (aka promises) from President Obama.

State Department spokesman John Kirby categorically denied that Obama vowed not to send U.S. forces (i.e. boots on the ground) to Syria to fight the Islamic State, which led to a heated exchange between Kirby and Associated Press reporter Matt Lee. Check out the video at the bottom.

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“For months and months and months, the mantra from the president and everyone else in the administration has been ‘no boots on the ground,’ and now–” Lee said before Kirby cut him off.

“No, that is not true,” Kirby said.

“What?” Lee asked in disbelief.

“It’s just not true, Matt,” Kirby said.

“It is,” Lee shot back.

“That’s just not true,” Kirby said again.

“It’s true,” Lee said.

“No, it’s not. I just flatly, absolutely, disagree with you,” Kirby said and banged his fist on the lectern.

Lee said that the administration had asserted numerous times that it would not send troops to Syria, but Kirby relented.

“OK, your predecessor up here, you know, it was all options are on the table except boots on the ground, that was the–” Lee said.

“I never said that,” Kirby said.

Kirby then said that the Obama administration was not “saying one thing and then doing the other completely.”

“I’m absolutely rejecting that thesis,” Kirby said.

Obama said that he was “not considering any boots-on-the-ground approach” in August 2013. He repeated the claim the next day, saying that while the United States would be taking “military action” in Syria, it would not involve “boots on the ground.”

In September of that year, the president said that Syria “is not Iraq, and this is not Afghanistan,” and vowed again that America’s “military plan…does not involve boots on the ground.”

He used the phrasing six more times that September, again in February 2014, three times in September 2014, once in November 2014, once in February 2015, and again in July 2015.

Obama announced Monday that he would send 250 more U.S. troops to fight ISIS in Syria, a significant addition to the 50 U.S. special operations forces already fighting there.


photo Andrew Aliferis via Flickr

photo Andrew Aliferis via Flickr

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. President Obama promises ‘no boots on the ground’ in Syria, war with Islamic State - The Global Dispatch says:

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