April 25, 2016 / 9:02 AM / in a year

Extra U.S. forces in Syria to support local allies: White House adviser

U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes speaks about Obama's upcoming visit to Cuba at the White House in Washington February 18, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

HANOVER, Germany (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama has decided to send an additional 250 special forces troops to Syria to provide support to local allies that have made gains against Islamic State militants, a White House adviser said on Monday.

“We’ve seen across parts of northern and eastern Syria progress as ISIL has been pushed out of some strongholds,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters in Hanover.

“We want to accelerate that progress and we believe the commitment of additional U.S. special forces can play a critical role,” Rhodes said, making clear that the new forces were not meant to serve in a ground combat role.

Reporting by Noah Barkin

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