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U.S. To Send Up To 250 Military Personnel To Syria


U.S. President Barack Obama has decided to send up to 250 military personnel to Syria to help local forces fighting the Islamic State extremist group.

According to U.S. officials, Obama will formally announce the decision during a speech on April 25 in Germany at the close of a weeklong foreign trip.

Countering the Islamic State group was a focus of Obama's talks with leaders in Saudi Arabia, Great Britain, and Germany.

The move would significantly increase the U.S. presence in a country beset by civil war.

About 50 U.S. special operations forces are already operating in Syria. It was unknown how many of the 250 additional personnel will be special forces.

Obama's decision was first reported on April 24 by The Wall Street Journal.

Islamic State controls the cities of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria and is proving a potent threat abroad, claiming credit for major attacks in Paris in November and Brussels in March.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, dpa, and AP
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