John Kerry
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is seen through the window of a car after arriving at Vienna International Airport in Vienna, Austria October 29, 2015. Reuters/Brendan Smialowski/Pool

The United States is going to deploy ground forces for the first time in Syria. However, Australia - a key US ally in its Syria operation - may stay away from the ground operation.

US authorities said a small Special Forces team, consisting of "fewer than 50," would be sent in an effort to defeat Islamic State militants, a feat it has failed to achieve since September 2014 when the U.S.-led air strikes started.

President Barack Obama stated his “clear objective” to “destroy” the terrorist organization. However, Obama’s “comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy” doesn't seem to have worked so far in Syria as ISIS continues to tighten its grip in the war-torn Middle Eastern country.

Australia has been working closely with the US in the Syria operation but has stayed away from sending ground troops. According to cabinet minister Mathias Cormann, the Australian government has no plans to send ground troops to Syria.

Labor leader Bill Shorten said it would be difficult for Australia to decide if it should get involved in ground operations in Syria.

“This argument about extending Australia's military involvement into a very confusing, very difficult, very hard-to-see end-game conflict is one which Labor is not prepared to go to at this point,” Sky News quoted him as telling reporters.

According to senior US administration official Josh Earnest, the mission of the Special Forces team is to “train, advise and assist” local rebel groups against ISIS.

"They will help coordinate local ground forces and coalition efforts to counter ISIL," the ABC quoted Earnest, who used an alternate term for the terror group.

According to Peter Jennings from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the “small team” was enough to get the U.S. into trouble. He said it would be unlikely for the team to make any “useful strategic difference in Syria."

“I would be loath to see the Australian government do more at a time when there is no clear strategy,” he said.

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