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Iran Press TV

Pentagon denies Syria strategy in disarray

Iran Press TV

Wed Nov 5, 2014 3:15PM GMT

The Pentagon defends the US strategy against the ISIL terrorist organization in Syria, downplaying a series of setbacks in the ever-escalating war.

Al-Qaeda forces in Syria are reportedly joining up with ISIL terrorists to rout US-allied "moderate" militant groups.

In addition to airstrikes, US President Barack Obama has authorized the Pentagon to begin arming and equipping "moderate" militants in Syria into a proxy ground army to battle both ISIL and the Syrian government.

That strategy appears to be in disarray as Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda's wing in Syria, forced two key US-allied groups from their strongholds in northern Syria.

"I don't believe that we view current events as a major setback to the goals that we've set with respect to training and equipping the moderate opposition," said Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the US was considering bombing al-Nusra.

Kirby, however, said no decision had yet been made on conducting airstrikes against the group.

'We're watching it very closely, we're not unmindful of the violence, and deep-seated tension between these groups ... but I would not get ahead of decisions that haven't been made,' he stated.

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has offered a dour assessment of the US strategy toward Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In a two-page memo to national security adviser Susan Rice, Hagel has warned that the US goal of ousting Assad was being undercut by its current military offensive against the ISIL terrorist group.

It further said that the White House had no clear end game for the conflict.

HRJ/HRJ



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