VIDEO: Top US Commander Makes Visit to Syria to Look Efforts against ISIS

Sun May 22, 2016 17:53:41

The top US commander for the Middle East secretly visited Syria on Saturday for a first-hand look at efforts to build cohesive alliances of Arab, Kurd and other local fighters to defeat the Islamic State group (ISIS / Daesh).

Army Gen. Joseph Votel, who is head of US Central Command, became the highest-ranking US military officer known to have entered Syria since the US began its campaign to counter ISIS in 2014.

Votel flew into northern Syria and spent nearly 11 hours in the country.

He met US military advisers working with Syrian Arab fighters, and conferred with leaders of the Syrian Democratic Forces, an umbrella group of Kurdish and Arab fighters supported by the US.

A small group of reporters accompanied Votel on a flight from Iraq under ground rules that, for security reasons, prohibited disclosing his visit until after he had left Syria.

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