The U.S. also continues to train local security forces in Syria. The training is designed to enhance security for displaced persons returning to their devastated communities. It is also essential so that ISIS cannot reemerge in liberated and ungoverned areas. This is not a new “army” or conventional “border guard” force.
This training and these forces are consistent with campaign objectives to ensure an enduring defeat of ISIS, facilitate stabilization efforts, and create the conditions that support the UN-led Geneva process.
The military campaign against ISIS in Syria is not over and heavy fighting is still underway in the Middle Euphrates River Valley.
These security forces are internally-focused to prevent ISIS fighters from fleeing Syria and augment local security in liberated areas. These forces will protect the local population and help prevent ISIS from launching new attacks against the U.S. and its allies and partners, pending a longer-term political solution to the Syrian civil war in Geneva.
To date, through Coalition-enabled operations in Syria, ISIS has not reclaimed any of the areas they lost. We intend to keep it that way.
We are keenly aware of the security concerns of Turkey, our Coalition partner and NATO ally. Turkey’s security concerns are legitimate. We will continue to be completely transparent with Turkey about our efforts in Syria to defeat ISIS and stand by our NATO ally in its counter-terrorism efforts.
The U.S. and its partners in the Global Coalition remain unwavering in our shared commitment to defeat ISIS and stabilize Syria.
Ultimately, Syria must determine its own future through the political process outlined in U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254.