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    Fighters from al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate al-Nusra Front

    US Struggling to Develop Ground Campaign Against al-Qaeda in Syria

    © AFP 2019 / Fadi al-Halabi / AMC
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    Washington mulls building a ground force to destroy al-Qaeda in northwest Syria.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States is struggling to develop a ground force to defeat al-Qaeda in northwest Syria, a senior State Department official said Tuesday.

    "In order to actually defeat these groups you have to have not only an air campaign, but a ground component, and developing a ground component against [al-Qaeda] has been very difficult," the official told reporters.

    The official said al-Qaeda’s continued presence in the area was a very serious concern.

    US strikes in recent weeks have killed a number of fighters believed to be with al-Qaeda in Syria, or Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra Front).

    A March 17 US airstrike that killed dozens of Syrian civilians in the Syrian city of Aleppo, was reportedly aimed at eliminating members of the terror group.

    Defense Department spokesperson Capt. Jeff Davis said the strike targeted a meeting of al-Qaeda members and likely killed high-value targets.

    The administration of President Donald Trump, like that of its predecessor Barack Obama, has so far been unwilling to commit to a large-scale US ground presence in Syria.

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    U.S. Department of State, al-Qaeda, Syria, United States
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