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The United States and its allies, after several years of missteps, finally seem to be framing a strategy for combating ISIS militarily in Syria, even as they continue to pursue a political settlement with Damascus.The border area east of the Euphrates, around Ain al-Arab (Kobani), has already been cleared by Syrian Kurdish forces from the YPG militia, operating with U.S. air support.The U.S. has quietly warned Syria that it will repel any attack on the forces gathering for the assault on ISIS. Despite Turkish misgivings, the U.S. will continue to provide air support when needed for YPG fighters, who the U.S. regards as crucial allies despite their political links with the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, a radical Kurdish group that Ankara would like to destroy.The U.S. is mobilizing a local, tribal force of Syrian Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen that could eventually clear northeast Syria, with U.S. and coalition air support. At present, the U.S. has no plans to embed special operations forces with these fighters.A U.S. effort to train a Syrian counterterror force also continues under Maj.
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