US general to tell importance of Turkey to Trump

US general to tell importance of Turkey to Trump

US general to tell importance of Turkey to Trump

AFP photo

The Pentagon’s top officer has said he is readying a “full range of options” for President Donald Trump on the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria, adding that he would underline the importance of Turkey. 

“We will go to him [Trump] with a full range of options from which he can choose,” Gen. Joe Dunford said at the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank, on Feb. 23. 

His remarks come as the Pentagon finalizes a new plan to defeat ISIL that Trump ordered shortly after taking office.

“We will talk about the importance of our Turkish ally and making sure our plans are consistent in maintaining a strong alliance with Turkey. We will talk about the implications of the Kurdish challenge in the region,” he said. 

America has approximately 500 troops in Syria, mainly special operations commandos who are training and assisting a coalition of local fighters battling ISIL.

On Feb. 22, another four-star general, Joseph Votel, who heads the U.S. military’s Central Command, told reporters that more U.S. troops might be needed in Syria.

“It could be that we take on a larger burden ourselves,” Votel said, though he stressed he did not favor large combat deployments.