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US Plans to Send Troops to Train Syrian Rebels


The United States says it's planning to send 400 troops to train moderate Syrian rebels this spring.

A Defense Department spokeswoman said Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar have offered to host the training.

The effort is part of an overall campaign to defeat the Islamic State, which has taken control of large swaths of land in Syria and Iraq.

"The goal for the train and equip program is to build the capabilities of the moderate Syrian fighters to defend the Syrian people, stabilize areas under opposition control, promote the conditions for a negotiated settlement of the conflict in Syria, and empower trainees to go on the offensive against ISIL," a statement by a Defense Department official read. 

More than 2,000 U.S. troops are already working in Iraq to train security forces there, and President Barack Obama has authorized the deployment of up to 3,000 U.S. troops there.

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