23:34 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Armed men in uniforms identified by Syrian Democratic forces as US special operations forces stand in the back of a pickup truck in the village of Fatisah in the northern Syrian province of Raqa on May 25, 2016

    US Special Forces Training Syrian Opposition to Call in Airstrikes

    © AFP 2019 / DELIL SOULEIMAN
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    US Special Envoy for the Counter-Islamic State Coalition Brett McGurk said that the United States is focused on training individual leaders to enhance capabilities on the ground as opposed to trying to organize large units, which was an unsuccessful approach.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Special Forces are vetting opposition group leaders in Syria and training them on how to call in precision airstrikes, US Special Envoy for the Counter-Islamic State Coalition Brett McGurk said in a congressional testimony on Tuesday.

    "What we [United States] are doing now is identifying those groups [in Syria] that are vetted," McGurk stated. "We work with [them] on the ground… to call in precision airstrikes."

    McGurk noted that the United States is focused on training individual leaders to enhance capabilities on the ground as opposed to trying to organize large units, which was an unsuccessful approach.

    The United States has deployed approximately 300 special forces into Syria as part of its advise-and-assist program to bolster Syrian opposition groups to fight the Islamic State, which is outlawed in the United States, Russia and many other countries.

    The US Department of Defense canceled its first Syrian train-and-equip program at the end of 2015 after the $500 million initiative failed to produce more than five or six fighters.

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    Tags:
    Syrian crisis, Daesh, US Special Forces, Brett McGurk, Syria, United States
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