There are the ‘boots’. We can see them. They are American boots, with American military feet in them.
There is the ‘ground’. We can see it. It is Syrian national ground.
Photo credit: news.vice.com
So. American boots on Syrian ground. Is that not a sufficient and complete definition of ‘boots on the ground’? In anybody’s language I would say that it is.
So, what are they doing there? Two hundred and fifty more pairs of boots now, adding to the fifty (officially) pairs of boots that have been there for quite some time now. Not counting all the clandestine (CIA) and private contractors muddying the waters.
As this RT story shows, they are there illegally: No boots on ground in Syria, but US troops wearing boots & on ground are there ‒ State Dept
If they were there as immigrants, they would still be there illegally unless they claimed refugee status. But they are an invasion force. They are not there to aid the Syrian government. That is not a part of US Foreign Policy. So, simply put, they are there illegally.
Oh, I do love to see the US State Dept talking heads squirming and struggling with convoluted thought pictures to try to come to terms with reality but avoiding at all costs telling the truth.
My own conclusion on this is that they can see that Syria, with Russian aid, is winning the battle against Islamic State in Syria and the US wants to absorb some of the credit for that, when in fact they have done little to nothing to achieve that result, preferring to make this into a war without end.