WASHINGTON (AP) — The top American commander for the Middle East says the U.S. is developing an expanded training program for local Kurdish and Arab border guards in Syria to help head off the "significant risk" of Islamic State fighters regrouping in the country. It's an effort that could entail a longer term American and allied commitment.
Army Gen. Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command, tells The Associated Press that the border control training reflects that major combat operations in Syria are ending and the focus is shifting to stabilize areas seized from IS. Washington also wants to root out any insurgents remaining in Syria.
Votel won't say exactly how many U.S. forces will remain in Syria or for how long. He suggested no imminent decrease in the U.S. troop level.