Sept. 16: Clarification for the record

Release No: UNRELEASED Sept. 16, 2015 PRINT | E-MAIL

Sept. 16, 2015
RELEASE #20150901

TAMPA, Fla. – During testimony today before the Senate Armed Services Committee about U.S. military operations to counter ISIL, the commander of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Lloyd Austin III told committee members:

“…what our special operations forces have done in northern Syria is they didn't wait for the New Syrian Force program or train and equip program to fully develop. At the very onset, they began to engage elements like the YPG and enable those elements, and they are making a difference on the battlefield.” 

In his comments, Gen. Austin was referring to the coordinating relationship that U.S. Special Operations Forces share with Syrian anti-ISIL forces. Coordination and liaising by U.S. forces is conducted outside of Syria at the Coalition’s Joint Operation Center in northern Iraq. There are no U.S. military forces on the ground in Syria, nor have we conducted any U.S. military training of indigenous Syrian forces in Syria.