WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States continues aiding thousands of opposition fighters in Syria who target Daesh jihadist group, US Department of Defense spokesman Eric Pahon told Sputnik.
“We continue to support tens of thousands of local Syrian counter ISIL [Daesh] forces in their efforts to reclaim territory from ISIL,” Pahon said.
The spokesperson added that US efforts are focused on “supporting forces that are from the local area to liberate that area, so that they can form the core of the hold force that will stay and protect their communities.”
US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said in October that “capable, motivated” local Syrian forces would lead the offensive on the Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa.
AFP 2016/ DELIL SOULEIMAN
On November 6, the Kurdish-led opposition forces, also known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), launched operation Wrath of Euphrates to liberate Raqqa.
The Wrath of Euphrates force includes a reported 30,000 fighters, including Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians and Armenians. According to media reports, US special forces are backing the advance.
Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, as opposition groups and terrorist organization have fought the Syrian Army to topple the government of President Bashar Assad.
The Pentagon spokesman also noted that Pentagon is utilizing a significant number of intelligence sources detailing Daesh’s approach to exporting terror and obtaining funding.