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U.S. to Send First Troops to Syria to Combat Islamic State

  • Fewer than 50 special operations forces will help Sunni rebels
  • Commandos won't be take on a combat mission, White House says
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U.S. Special Ops Troops Head to Syria: Will It Be Enough?

Updated on

The Obama administration is deploying several dozen special operations forces inside Syria for the first time in a significant escalation of the fight against the radical Islamic State group.

Fewer than 50 U.S. military personnel will be based in northeast Syria to work with Sunni Arab and Kurdish forces, according to a U.S. defense official. Their mission is to train and assist the local fighters battling Islamic State, the official said, requesting anonymity to discuss details of the deployment. A second defense official told reporters at the Pentagon that the commandos will arrive in Syria within a month and stay for weeks or months, not permanently.