- Kurds respond to rebel attacks in Aleppo, killing over 30 Islamists
- ISIS militants expel Syrian rebels from key town in Daraa
- KNC condemns Kurdish massacre in Aleppo
- Major Kurdish party again excluded from Syria peace talks in Geneva
- ISIS reports gains near key airbase in Syria’s Damascus
- Syrian rebels massacre Kurdish civilians in Aleppo
- Al-Qaeda shot down Syrian warplane, captured pilot in Aleppo
Moderate Syrian fighters in greater numbers than U.S. officials had expected are stepping forward to battle Islamic State militants, the White House’s special envoy for the campaign against the group said on Wednesday.
“The numbers are much higher than we thought, and it’s been very encouraging. We’ve had an encouraging sense that there is an interest in this,” retired General John Allen, PresidentÂ BarackÂ Obama’sÂ envoy to the anti-IS coalition, told a U.S. Senate committee.
U.S. officials have said they plan to train about 5,000Â Syrian fighters per year for three years at sites outsideÂ SyriaÂ as part of the campaign to stop Islamic State, which has seized swathes of territory inÂ IraqÂ andÂ Syria.
Allen testified to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as lawmakers began considering Obama’s request for a formal three-year authorization for the campaign against IS.
The measure is expected to face difficulty in Congress, where many Democrats worry it will lead to another long engagement by U.S. combat troops in the Middle East and Republicans are concerned it does not give commanders enough flexibility to defeat the Islamic State.