Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin Dempsey testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 16, 2014 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP
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Moderate Syrian rebels, once made battle-ready by a U.S.-led coalition, may be asked to help restore the border between Syria and Iraq that ISIS militants have effectively wiped out, the top American military official said Thursday.Army Gen. Martin Dempsey cautioned, however, that it may be a year before the Syrian rebel force that President Barack Obama calls a key element of his strategy for destroying the Al-Qaeda breakaway group is ready for action. Some members of Congress expressed concern that because the rebels' focus over three years of civil war has been to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, not fight ISIS group militants, they may be tempted to use the U.S.-led training for that objective, instead of the U.S. priority of defeating the militant army.Dempsey declined to specify a host country but said the training would be done in more than one country.Dempsey said he would recommend to Obama that the rebel force be supported with air power.
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