Top US commander completes secret Syria visit

Washington, May 22 (IANS) A top US commander completed a secret day-long trip to northern Syria where he met with local forces Washington is helping train to fight the Islamic State (IS) terror group, a media report said on Sunday.

Joseph Votel, commanding general of US Central Command, is the highest-ranking American military official to travel into Syria during a time where the country is embroiled in crisis, CNN reported.

Votel’s meetings included discussions with top Syrian Democratic Forces officials who are asking for arms and ammunition.

However, more details of his visit were not disclosed.

The top commander’s visit comes as the first of 250 additional US special operations forces are beginning to arrive in Syria to work with local forces.

The US troops are focused on training small numbers of forces and then sending them out into the field with larger groups.

The local forces are being trained on very specialised tasks, such as how to call in precise and timely intelligence reports from the battlefield that could result in coalition airstrikes against IS targets.

–IANS

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