"We estimate about 35,000 to 40,000 local forces have to be trained and equipped in order to provide stability," Dunford said at a Washington Post event on Thursday. "We are probably somewhere along the line of 20 percent through the training of those forces."
Dunford explained that the stabilization process would need to continue for an indefinite period of time in eastern Syria.
Dunford gave no details of the number of US Special Operations Command troops that were currently operating in eastern, Syria, but he did say there were no plans to evacuate them.
When asked if the US forces in eastern Syria would be maintained in the region for the foreseeable future, Dunford replied, "No. That’s right… They're not leaving any time soon."
The training of local forces was necessary to re-establish effective local government and services in the region including sewage, law and order and electric power, Dunford said.
Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State), a terrorist group banned in Russia and a number of other countries.