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Obama Looking at Ways to 'Intensify' US Efforts Against ISIL in Syria

© REUTERS / Bassam KhabiehSmoke rises during clashes between forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and the Army of Islam fighters
Smoke rises during clashes between forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and the Army of Islam fighters - Sputnik International
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President Barack Obama is looking for ways to intensify the efforts by the US coalition against ISIL in Syria after agreeing to deploy 50 Special Operations forces there, US Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Anne Patterson stated in a hearing on Wednesday.

Fighters from Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front drive in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Last week, the White House announced it would deploy up to 50 additional Special Operations forces to Syria in an effort to assist the military campaign against ISIL. The decision came after President Obama pledged in 2013 to not put US forces on the ground in Syria.

Patterson explained that said that the United States is sending additional A-10 and F-15 military aircraft to the Incirlik airbase in Turkey to intensify airstrikes against the Islamic State.

"The president is looking at a number of other options to intensify our efforts in this [Syrian] battlespace," Patterson told the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Washington is also increasing military assistance to Syria’s neighbors, including Jordan and Lebanon, she added.

However, Patterson refused to elaborate on "activities and location" of the 50 Special Operations forces being deployed to Syria, saying such information is classified.

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