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Obama Sending More US Forces to Syria


U.S President Barack Obama speaks at the Hannover Messe, the world's largest industrial technology trade fair, in Hannover, northern Germany, April 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

U.S President Barack Obama speaks at the Hannover Messe, the world's largest industrial technology trade fair, in Hannover, northern Germany, April 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Barack Obama said on Monday he would send 250 soldiers to Syria to help local forces fight against the Islamic State.

The deployment will increase American forces in Syria to around 300. Most of the new 250 U.S. forces will be U.S. Army Green Berets. About 50 American forces are already in Syria since 2015.

Obama told an audience at a trade fair in Hannover, Germany, the forces will “not be leading the fight on the ground.” The president said the forces will provide training and will assist local troops to “keep up this momentum” in the fight against IS.

Obama also urged Europe and NATO allies to do more in the fight against Islamic State.

“This remains a difficult fight and none of us can solve this problem by ourselves,” he said.

Stephen Zunes is a regional expert from the University of San Francisco. He told VOA the deployment could be viewed as mission creep in both Syria and Iraq.

"At the same time, given that Obama has had a pretty cautious approach in terms of U.S. military involvement in Syria, it could be an indicator that the initial troop deployment has been successful, and that it is an indication, in his mind at least, that additional U.S. forces could actually advance the cause of defeating ISIS and strengthening local forces that are fighting them.

I’m Jim Dresbach.

Jim Dresbach adapted this story for Learning English with reporting from VOA, the Associated Press and Reuters. Hai Do was the editor.

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Words in This Story

momentumn. the strength or force that allows something to continue or to grow stronger or faster as time passes

Green Beretsn. U.S. Army personnel trained to organize, instruct, supply, and supervise indigenous forces engaged in guerrilla warfare and counterinsurgency operations, and to themselves conduct unconventional warfare

logisticsn. the things that must be done to plan and organize a complicated activity or event that involves many people

NATOn. also known as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, it is an organization of countries that have agreed to provide military support to each other. It includes many European countries as well as the U.S. and Canada.

cautiousadj. careful about avoiding danger or risk

approachn. a way of dealing with something or a way of doing or thinking about something

indicatorn. a sign that shows the condition or existence of something

ISIS– n. stands for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and is an extremist militant group. Also known as ISIL and Islamic State

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