What We're Following This Afternoon

U.S. special forces are Iraq-bound: Defense Secretary Ash Carter told a House panel the troops will assist rebels fighting the Islamic State and be in a position to carry out “unilateral” strikes in Syria. The announcement, as Marina reports, “marks a public escalation in the Obama administration’s response to the Islamic State.”

Chicago’s police chief is out: Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he’s asked for Garry McCarthy’s resignation over the police superintendent’s handling of the Laquan McDonald case. The black teenager was fatally shot by a Chicago officer, and video of the killing sparked outrage. Update: More here

An explosion in Istanbul: There are reports of multiple injuries following an explosion near the Bayrampasa metro station. A local mayor says the blast was caused by a pipe bomb, but news reports say the blast was caused by a power transformer. Update: More here

Our headlines from the morning are here.