of the strategy which is the safety of the american public, and because of the strategy, we have taken extremists off of the battlefield in syria who are hoping to use a safe haven in syria tot ak the the united states and our interests. so we know that we need a political transition inside of syria in order to address the root cause of so many of the problems in syria, and that those problems range from hundreds of thousands of syrians who have lost their lives in the civil war in that country, millions of syrians who have had to flee their homes to escape violence, and some of the syrians who have unfortunately died trying to e flee their country. and it is a tragedy, both in terms of the human toll that it had on the syrian people, and it is also significant in terms of the destabilizing impact that it has had throughout the broader region, and countries like
turkey, and jordan and lebanon are bearing a significant burden in trying to meet the basic humanitarian needs of hundreds of thousands if not millions of refugees that have sought peace in their countries. so we can take military action to provide safety for the american people, but the root cause off all of the problems are only going to be addressed through the political transition that the united states believes is long overdue. julia? >> i wanted to flesh out some details, josh. we have heard that the president has authorized fewer than 50 personal operation forces, and can you specify the exact number? >> the less than 50 number is act rat. i cannot be more specific for that primarily to the are reasons related to the operational security, and there
are a number of details about this the decision that i'm not in a position to discuss in this p public setting to primarily inshurna the special operators can do their work as safely as possible, acknowledging that this is a very dangerous part of the world. >> you mentioned the call of the president and prime minister abate intensifying the support for the islamic state there, and will that include the future of more special operations forces, and any talk of sending or intensifying that report through u.s. troops? >> well, i don't have any announcements along those lines to make from here to the today, and we are have already found that pairing some special operations personnel with the iraqi forces in to a strictly train, and vise and assist role has been effective in enhancing
the capacity of the iraqi forces to make progress against isil, and i don't have anything to announce along those lines to today. but i certainly wouldn't rule out that something like that could be a possibility if it continues to be an element of promise. egy that shows some >> is there some reason that the president is not speaking about this move? is it because it is a relatively small maneuver, and larger tactic in the larger strategy, but why aren't we hearing from him? >> well, the first is that you have heard the president on many occasions discuss our strategy in syria. and the fact is that our strategy in syria hasn't chan d changed. the core of our military strategy is to build up the capacity of the core forces to take isil on the ground, and variety of way s ths that the u
states and the coalition partners can offer support whether it is air strikes or combat on the ground, and the president did make a decision to intensify the support by offering a small number of u.s. special operations small u.s. military personnel to the -- to offer them some advise and assist strategy on the ground. this is the intention of the president a year ago and he has discuss discussed it with you before and he will do it again in the future. jus thetin? >> i wanted to see if you could maybe define what the difference of, or what the limits of advise and assist versus combat are? >> okay. >> i ask that for two reasons. the president has laid down the mark that we will not send combat troops into the area, and i want to know why this does not qualify under that definition, and i'm also wondering if you
could flush out what they are doing, so we have a marker to judge the president's words on. >> and the last question is hard for me to offer you many specifics about precisely what they are going to be doing, because primarily there is some operational security that has to be protected. maybe more details that the department of defense can offer y you, but from here, i can't be more specific to say that the special operation forces will be in syria, and they will be offering some training, some advice, and some assistance to the moderate opposition forces that are fighting isil in northern syria right now. as it relates to the mission, and this is an important thing for the american people to understand. these forces do not have a combat mission. in 2003, president bush ordered a long-scale long-term combat operation in iraq.
that is something that barack obama, then a state senator from illinois spoke out against, and he disagreed with the decision, and he didn't believe at this point that it would serve the kcountry country, and pose a problem of the solutions inside of iraq, and the president barack obama has that same view. he does not believe that the mi military operation was in the best interests, and he does not believe that it is something that we should do again. that is why our special operations inside of syria have a different mission. it is not that the -- the mission is to build the capacity of the local forces so they they can be more effective than they have been to take the fight to isil on the ground inside of syria. >> i want to go back on the question one more time, because the president didn't say that there wouldn't be a long-scale ground operation, but he said
that there would not with be a ground combat operation in syria, and so i'm trying to figure out how can we measure that point? h what are soldiers in combat doing that these trained advice and assist soldiers are not doing, because it look, and smells and sounds like a combat mission, and soldiers are dying, and pentagon has described some of that. >> and what i am trying to do is to be as specific as possible with you about the specific responsibilities that the special operations personnel have. it is not in any way an attempt to diminish the risk that they will face or the bravery they need to summon to carry are out these operations. this is a dangerous place on the globe. they are at risk. there is no denying that, and now, once again, a reason for us to remember the significant sacrifices that the men and the
women of the military make. nobody is more keenly aware of that than the commander in chief. at the same time, the responsibilities that they have there are different. first of all, if we were envisioning a combat operation, we probably would be contemplating more than 50 troops on the ground, but the responsibility is not to lead the charge to take a hill, but rather to offered a vice and assistance to the local forces about the best way they can organize their efforts to take the fight to i ssil or to take the hill, that is the situation they are farced w and it does not mean that they won't have all of the equipment they need to protect themselves if necessary. i am confident that the department of defense has contingency plans in place for the environment to be safe
enough for the forces to operate there. but again, i don't want to diminish the risk they are taking in pursuit of the objectives that the president has identified. >> and this is swun more and i apologize and i know that we are friend, but now that you have a broad budget in place, what is going on with the appropriations process, and what needs to help? and how confident are you that it gets done and it won't include any of the riders that you have -- all right. we will continue to monitor the briefing and josh earnest is making significant news to confirm what barbara starr has been reporting for last couple of hours. and now the u.s. administration confirming that special operations forces are going to go into northern syria, and work with kurdish and other rebel
forces against bashar al assad, and the forces there of isis operating in syria. and this is once again a new posture. we want to welcome in the viewers of the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer, and we have barbara starr standing by, and nick walton -- nick paton walsh is on the ground there in syria, and also, clarissa ward, our foreign affairs correspondent. and barbara, what are you hearing? >> well w u.s. troops will be at pass risk, but using the words that the white house needs to use, it is not a combat mission. so what are the special
operation forces going to do? they are going to go into the syria, and right into the heartland of where isis fights, and try to help the kurdish militant militants who are going after them with mission planning, and how how to get to south for the front lines. charisa has seen it, troops are short of ammunition, and supplies, and the united states wants to help them there, and this is keen thing, when you have special operations on the ground, they are also intelligence gatherers, and talking to the fighters, and learn learning the lay of the land, and learning where isis is, and they will be able to help overhead fighter jets, and two fa-16s and two more fighter jets
to readily take out isis. another key issue is that if they get into danger, or trouble, will the u.s. have the capability to move in with helicopters to get them in quickly and out of the trouble quick quickly. that is what the pentagon has to plan against. >> and in this escalating u.s. involvement on the ground in syria, the u.s. special operating forces will be working with the kurdish fighters, and rebel fighters who are opposing fighting isis, and also the bashar al assad regime or just the kurdish fighters. >> well, in is a unique area here along the northern border, because you will have a number of kurdish groups they are going to be working with at the u.s. fields and they know well and understand who these people are, and also, syrian arab fighters, and you will hear the syrian arab coalition which is what the
pentagon uses, 5,000 militias, and tribes, and other groups fighting isis. and the u.s. says it understands who these people are, and they can work with them. so you will have to work for the special operations commandos from the u.s. to pair up with all of these groups. this is a good deal aware and fair distance away from where hezbollah or russians are fighting, but this battlefield, wolf, getting more complex by the day. >> it certainly is, and our senior international correspondent nick paton walsh is in turkey, and not far from the border of syria. and so how is this i playing for the u.s. to bring in 50 special operations forces into syria? >> well, the number is marginal in terms of the impact on turkey, and they have assistance
to allow a-10s in an area to help on the ground. another thing is the timing of the announcement which is happening slap right in the m middle of the peace talks in vienna, and this is a message to the russians, you have your military moves and we are going to not talk about peace and stopping the terrorists in their grasp. well, you can't have it both ways to, have a statement, and then say, we won't disclose the details off what constitutes a massive military force. and in an effort to try to get the syrian forces out of kobani, a and the group that is somebody that we are not known too much of, they are supposedly the area
that is going to help make groups that the u.s. was recipient of, but maybe it is a little bit of the u.s. making it up as they go along, and certainly a lot of planning in the special forces in the months ahead, but a real sense here of months until we will see the real effects of movement on the ground, wolf. >> and presumably, the 50 special forces operations are going to be endangered going into the dangerous part of syria. clarissa ward is the senior international correspondent back from northern syria, and northern iraq as well. she met with the kurdish fighters, and you are back in london, clarissa, and what is the assessment or the decision by the obama administration to escalate the u.s. operations involvement in northern syria?
>> well, it is so interesting, wolf, because we were basically embedded with the ypg and touring around the front lines, and there seemed to be a little bit of the disparity of what we were hearing in the u.s. that there was an offensive imminently on raqqah, and what we were seeing on the ground with the ypg fighters, and they were exhausted after months of fighting. ill equipped, and they were lightly armed, and most of them fighting with old ak-47s and some of them fighting in the sneakerers and the sandals, an manning a huge front line, wolf, more than 400-mile line front line with minimal equipment, and no body armour, and no armoured vehicles. it is interesting to listen into the brief iing at the white hou. we talked about assistance, but no specifics. the number one question is going to be, if this is rying to facilitate a push on raqqah, how can that be done without
supplying the ypg fighters with heavier weapon, and armour piercing weapons. they are going to be going up against the isis who have more heavy weapon, and most of them american wep wons, they have taken from the army on the ground. and many to this point is the result of air support, coalition air support, and the air strikes have been undoubtedly a real game-change pore the kurdish fighters on the ground. and if you want to go into the next level into iraq ka, which is an arab and not kurdish stronghold, ultimately the fighters that we spent time with are going to be be looking for the heavier weapon, too. >> and the ypg is of course the kurdish fighters fighting in the iraq ka area, and under 50 of the u.s. troops will be
deployed, and special operations forces. they will have their combat boots on and they will be on the ground, and although the white house insisting they won't engage directly in combat. we will get reaction to what is going on. standby, cla ris sashgs and bar barr star as well, and also, we will continue to foll lolow the story. and there is the iraq war veteran up on the hill getting a briefing. we will discuss more with him when we come back. ...isn't it time to let the... ...real you shine... ...through? introducing otezla, apremilast. otezla is not an injection, or a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. some people who took otezla saw 75% clearer skin after 4 months. and otezla's prescribing information has no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't take otezla if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.
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member, and senator cotton, you served in iraq, and you are a veteran of the iraq war, and what is your reaction of this decision by the white house? >> good afternoon, wolf. it is good to be on with you, and i did hear combat versus noncombat troops. i am mystified, it is something out off a george orwell novel. we have troops on the ground in close quarter s wis with the is state. and last week we lost master sergeant josh wheeler, and we should all recognize that any time troops are in close combat with the adversary, they are engaged in combat. and more broadly, this is long overdue in syria, and the white house is trying to play down the number, and saying it is less than 50, and i don't want to concentrate on the number of troops and deployments, because of security, but part of the strategy is matching the means to the goal. the president has the same goal, and he has since he has ak
fonled that the islamic state is not the j.v. team, and it is not to destroy the islamic states, and there have not been enough in peshmerga, and authorities to conduct the at tamt tacks ta have been limited f. we want to reach the goal, we have to match the resources to that goal. >> and the president is authorizing today is a step in the right direction, but albeit from your perspective, a limited step. you want a whole lot more, and combat troops in syria to help the kurdish fighters ash and the moderate syrian rebels to get the job done against isis? >> well, wolf, in the end, the conditions will dictate the numbers, and the president has a bad habts of -- bad habits of dictating the troops on the
ground. and a lot of the troops are not going to be be front line trigger p pullers and door kickers, they are going to be helping them to develop the professional capabilities that our military has. h how to get the bullets from the warehouse to the front line, and to have the proper understand ing of how the call for the close support from the aircraft, but it is the sources on the ground that put forward the sources that we need to defeat the islamic state. and i don't believe that thet p gets it yet. >> and albeit a small group on the ground, and given the much larger iranian troops, and the much larger russian treoops on the ground, and all of the competing militias over there, and the american troops will go in on the ground, ab they could be in danger. >> well, wolf, any time we send the troops in harm's way, i am concerned for the safety, and
that said, i will be confident that the military chain of command has sent them in unless i felt ta they could accomplish it. and these are the most highly trained decorated soldiers, and we have to recognize that there is risk. that is what it means when you have troops down range in the possibility that they have close quarters combat, and we shouldn't be engaged in word games here in washington, d.c. but you raise another important point, because in the end, we can't defeat the islamic state unless we remove bashar al assad to power. and he helped to give them the reason to exist, and because president obama has appeased and reck ciliated with iran and russia, he has undermined the goal of defeating them in their home state. >> thank you, tom cotton. >> and now more fallout coming from the national republican
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krshc the previous debate on cn bshgs krshcnbc. i have this the statement released, i respect the press and however i ask them to host a debate on issues substantive and consequential issues important to the american people. i don't remember when a debate has been suspended with a major television network. do you know anything about this, brian? >> it is dramatic fallout, and during the debate, we heard the campaigns complaining about the tone and the questions that were asked by cnbc, and many felt that it was out of control, and the moderators could not be in control of the debate stage, and accusations of liberal abiases. our colleague dylan beyers reporting on the 7:00 p.m. meeting cutting the rnc out of the loop to talk about the future debates. so what we are seeing here is the chairman of the rnc to take
control, and suspend for the moment with nbc, and maybe they are doing to be talking to nbc and work it out. this is what nbc says, this is a disappointing decision, but we will work with our partners t l telemundo, and our broadcast partners at telemundo to resolve this matter with the republican party the. and also, "national review" was going to be be a sponsor of the debate, and the rnc says that i want to work with them, and have a debate in february, so they may remain working with the republican party on this debate if the they can reach an agreement, but at the moment, the republican party is putting every television network especially nbc on know tis. >> and in the sense that it also tries to send a message from reince priebus, the chairman of the republican party to the various republican presidential campaign, and he is going to be
firm, and tough, and he going to be undergoing criticism for all allowing that cnbc debate to take place? >> that is exactly what is happening here. and cnbc, for what it is worth, it operates independently of nbc. and it has the letters n-b-c in the name, but its own office is in its own state in new jersey, and so it is separate from "nbc news" but it is part of the parent country, and so what we are seeing is a republican party going after them more bloroadly than the previous debates. so you can see the ones going after nbc and not the debates on cnn or fox. >> and i thought that the letter released by reince priebus that according to him, the candidates on the stage, all 10 presidential candidates would be allowed to deliver opening statements, and not just closing
statements, and they didn't have the opening statement, and they went right to the questions from the moderator, and you must have noticed that yourself. >> yes, the first question is what is your biggest weakness, and what are you doing about it? and in that ir miin their mind agreement they set out to the do, and the republicans and the candidates clearly disagreed, and it is a source of tension. and the broader point, wolf, in order to have a debate and stage the debate, you have to have the networks and the journalists and the candidates all agree. the candidates have a lot of leverage in the situation, and we are seeing them use that leverage right now. and in some ways, the highly used viewership is powerful, and we watched people watch them on cnbc and a channel that rarely has 100,000 viewers, and donald trump and ben carson are culling in interest in the debates, and so they are using the leverage to get friendlier treatment to
get softer questions, and that is challenging for the television networks, because what we need at home and the viewer is tough and pointed treatment but fair treatment from the moderators (and they could give 60-second opening statement, and that is clearly, that promise was not met met. >> yes, and if the question is what is your biggest weakness? that is is not a opening statement. and now, cnbc might have said it is a miscommunication, but it set a bad tone from the beginning, and things went downhill from there >> thank you, brian seltzer, and we will watch other political news, but right now, we are following the breaking news. the u.s. is committing in effect ground special forces into northern syria, and the number is under 50, but it does represent a change. much more after this.
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the u.s. secretary the of state john kerry is in vie nen na, austria, and this is the first time that iran has officially taken part in the discussions, and they are taking place at the negotiating table with u.s., saudi arabia and russia and several other countries. e fred pleitgen is joining us live from vienna, and the press secretary has been briefing the foreign minister and the represe representative from russia. what are they saying? >> well, it is very interesting, wolf, because the talks in e vienna went longer than anybody thought they would. they were scheduled for four and a half hours and they went on
for eight hours. clearly emotional times in the room, and for the first time the iranians, a part of the discussions to try to the end the violence in syria, and of course, the saudis are there as well, and two parties that don't agree on any way forward, and right now, secretary of state kerry is briefing the media with sergey lavrov and basically what he said is that there was a lot of agreement on a lot of issues regarding the syrian crisis. he said that all parties agree that syria should remain unified and secular state. all parties agree, some sort of way to end the violence. he says that all parties have agreed to ask the u.n. to get all of the par tus together to get some nationwide cease-fire going in syria, and however, wolf, the big stumbling block is the future of syria's future of bashar al assad, and secretary kerry said that the sides agreed
to disagree. and so now, saudi arabia and turkey said that assad has no part in syria at all. and they want some elections to take play, and they believe that bashar al assad could be a part of the transition period, and he could stand for elections in the future, so a big disagreement on that front. however, secretary kerry is trying to outline the parts of the talks where the sides have agreement. they have are all decided to meet again in two weeks to try to drive this political process on. it is not something that anybody would say it is a breakthrough in trying to get the peace in syria, but the fact that the meeting took place, and the fact that some joint statement is issued at the end of it is something that all of the sides see as significant process, wolf. >> well, i don't know if it is significant, but neither the iranians or the rush shall bes are willing to say that bashar al assad must go, and the notion of elections when you have 4
million syrians who have fled the country, and 9 million internally who have been displaced and putting together free and fair elections in to a a war torn country is farfetched right now, but that is my initial analysis, and hopefully they can get something done. >> there is another important development that iranb is first formally invited into the desk and once again, a iranian american citizen is being held detained in a prison in iran, and word of that coming today. and he is a businessman and dual citizensh citizenship, and visiting the family in teheran, and as you know, fred, he has been detained the there, and what do we know about the american iranian and could it seriously add to tensions of the negotiating table where we are showing pictures of thf you -- of this young man? >> well, it does not help, wolf. he is someone who has been to
iran a couple of times before, and he is a businessman and certainly someone who in the past has been in favor of the nuclear agreement between iran and world power, and also trying to get the u.s. and other businesses to go back into iran. there is very little about what and how this happened. reports in "the new york times" and that he was disetained two weeks ago, and the passport was confiscated before he was det n detained and imprison ed in the same prison where jason raizion is being held. and usually it is transparent information, but a lot of times the defendants in the cases like this, they don't know exactly what they have been charged with, and certainly, there is
very little that the media finds out as well, but it is a key point that this is certainly something that could compliment everything else on the diplomatic front, and of course, we know that the running up to the nuclear agreement, a lot of of the progress made there was due to the fact that the iranian prime m prime minister and secretary kerry have a very good working relationship. we know that in the bilateral meeting that was held here in vienna, the secretary of state talked about americans being in iranian detention, and the many issues that e pose pos for the relations between the u.s. and iran. certainly, this is a major issue. now four americans in iranian detention, and many felt that jason would be released after the nuclear deal came to place, but it is not happening at all, wolf. >> and so now, many thought that they were arresting another american to the up the ante, because they have publicly float
ed the idea of exchanging with iranians who are being held in american jails right now, and right now, maybe this is one of the objectives, and we do not know, but fred pleitgen is covering the talks in vienna. and other american citizens are being held. a journalist from the washington post is detained on espionage charge, and amir hickmani who was a u.s. marine, accused of spying. and robert levinson went missing in iran in 2007. congressman who is fighting for the release of his constituent said this about the potential reports that iran has arrested another american. it is troubling, because iran wants to rejoin the global community, but i cannot fathom how this is possible if it
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we're following the breaking news the obama administration announcing that u.s. special operations forces for the first time will be deployed to northern syria. listen to this exchange that our senior white house correspondent jim acosta had with the white house press secretary josh ernest. >> is this fewer than 50 and no more? >> the decision that the president has made to add these special operations forces to buld up the capacity of local fighters in syria will involve fewer than 50 special operations personnel. >> won't be any other escalations beyond that? is that what you're saying? >> the decision that the president has made is to send fewer than 50 special operations forces to syria to offer advice and assistance against isil.
>> it's possible there could be further deployments? >> well, jim, i don't want to try to predict the future here. we have been quite specific about what our strategy is. we have shown a desire to intensify our efforts behind those elements of our strategy that have shown the most promise and building the capacity of local forces particularly in northern syria has shown some promise. this is a furtherance of those efforts. >> you said these special forces could be doing advising, training, assisting and you can't get into specifics for security reasons, so which is it? are they going to be involved in some raids potentially? >> the role that they will have is to offer training, to offer advice and to offer some assistance to local opposition fighters on the ground in syria who are taking the fugt to isil
in their own country. that's the responsibility that they have. that's the mission that the commander-in-chief has given them. on an operational basis in terms of where they will be operating, with whom they are partnering, i think for pretty obvious reasons those are not details we can get to in public. >> i want to get back to what christian was asking about which is i want to have a moment of clarity. >> that's the reason i'm here. the question that the american people have which is this president, this white house, the officials here at this it white house have repeatedly over and over again made it clear to the american people that there would be no combat role for u.s. troops fighting isis. that appears to be changing. not only is there this announcement you're talking about today, but you're not ruling out possibility that they may be involved in some sort of combat operation, but on the
iraq side, you have pentagon officials this week saying we're in combat. so it would be great if we could have a moment of clarity to acknowledge that, yes, this mission is changing. it is not what it was said it was going to be at the onset of this. >> to say that would only confuse the situation. the fact of the matter is the mission that the commander-in-chief has given our military personnel is a train, advise and assist mission. we have gone to great lengths to make clear that no way diminishes the risk our men and women will be facing. we have also been quite clear that there have been situations where combat boots have been on the ground inside of syria. we have been candid about that. the president ordered mission involving personnel on the ground inside of syria to rescue. that occurred more tan a year ago. the president earlier this year
ordered special operations personnel to conduct a raid against a high value target inside of syria. that rate was successful in taking the leader off the battlefield and recovering significant troefs of intelligence. the department of defense has had plans in place for search and rescue operations. fortunately, the united states has not been in a situation in which one of our pilots had been shot down or crashed in the skies over syria despite the fact they have had thousands of flights. this is a testament to the professionalism of our forces. operations would have put u.s. military boots on the ground in a fight against isil to potentially try to rescue american military mie pilots. so we have been forthright about this fact. this is not the first time we are discussing this information. in fact, we have discussed this at some length. and the desire here is to try to
be as specific and clear as possible exactly what it is that they are doing. their mission is -- >> you're denying the onset of this military operation against isis that the impression was not given to the american people that there would not be a combat role. i recognize there's some double negatives in there. at the onset of this, any rational person would conclude that the impression was given to the american people that there would not be a combat mission. it now appears there are going to be occasions where there will be a combat element to what u.s. troops are doing in iraq and syria. so you're saying that's not the case? >> i'm saying the impression that the president went to great lengths to lead with the american people in september of 2014, the president gave a national address on live television in prime time on september 10th of 2014. the president did go to great lengths to make clear that our counter-isil strategy would be
substantially different. a difference in night and day between the strategy president obama was implementing and the strategy of a long-term, large scale, ground combat operation that the bush administration pursued in 2003. the president made it quite clear that our strategy is different. the strategy was that difference existed then and it exists today. and what the president did in the context of that speech and numerous other times you all have asked him about it and given other statements about it, the president has been quite clear about the fact they did not have a combat mission. they have a training,advising and assist mission that does mean our men and women will be in harm's way. it means they are going to be taking risks and are in a dangerous part of the world. it means we owe them a debt of gratitude. >> what about that raid where a u.s. soldier died just last week? >> that was in iraq. this was a raid led by kurdish security forces.
the u.s. military personnel that were there were in an advise role. but when those kurdish security forces -- >> there's the potential for something like this to occur. where they may have to engage. >> that's already happened. >> an important exchange between jim acosta and josh ernest. more on that breaking story coming up throughout the day here on cnn. an important programming note before i let you go on the state of the union. cnn sits down with john boehner and paul ryan, the outgoing and incoming speakers of the house. dana bash has spoken with both of them. those interview this is sunday at 9:00 a.m. eastern and specific on "state of the union" this sunday.
thanks very much for watching. i'll be back. "newsroom" with brooke baldwin starts right now. wolf blitzer, thank you so much. great to be with you on this friday. i'm brooke baldwin. you're watching cnn. more on our breaking news in the war on isis. this major shift in policy will now see boots ob the ground for the first time in syria. we know a small contingent of special operations forces will be heading into kurdish-controlled territory in northern syria. these are the moderate rebels the u.s. has been arming and training. but just to be clear here, the rebels these troops will be helping are the same individuals who are not only fighting isis terrorists and not only that the russians