- Title: U.S. boosts Syria anti-IS forces, urges Gulf military self-reliance
- Date: 10th December 2016
- Summary: MANAMA, BAHRAIN (DECEMBER 10, 2016) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** EXTERIOR OF THE RITZ CARLTON HOTEL VARIOUS OF BAHRAINI FLAG U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY ASH CARTER ENTERING THE BALLROOM LARGE SCREEN READING (English): "IISS MANAMA DIALOGUE 12TH REGIONAL SECURITY SUMMIT BAHRAIN, 9-11 DECEMBER 2016" CARTER WALKING TO THE PODIUM AHEAD OF HIS SPEECH, AUDIENCE CLAPPING (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY, ASH CARTER, SAYING: "I can tell you today that the United States will deploy approximately 200 additional U.S. forces in Syria, including special operations forces, trainers, advisors, and explosive ordinance disposal teams. These uniquely skilled operators will join the 300 U.S. special operations forces already in Syria to continue organizing, training, equipping and otherwise enabling capable, motivated, local forces to take the fight to ISIL and are also bringing down the full weight of U.S. forces around the theatre of operations like the funnel of a giant tornado." VARIOUS OF DELEGATES (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY, ASH CARTER, SAYING: "Russia entered into the civil war saying they wanted to promote a smooth political transition in Syria that preserves the structure of the Syrian state, which I understand and which is necessary to ending the Syrian civil war and restoring decent life to that tragically shattered country. And Russia also said it was going to fight ISIL. But then it did neither of those things and instead has only inflamed the civil war and prolonged suffering of the Syrian people." VARIOUS OF DELEGATES (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY, ASH CARTER, SAYING: "The fact is if countries in the region are worried about Iran's destabilising activities, a concern the United States shares, they need to get in the game. That means getting serious about starting to partner more with each other and investing in the right capabilities for the threat. Given the persistent challenges facing the region, and because the future is always uncertain, developing these core capabilities will be ever more crucial to your security and you ignore them at your peril." DELEGATE TAKING NOTES DELEGATE LISTENING TO SPEECHES (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY, ASH CARTER, SAYING: "Mutual interest requires mutual commitment. It's not unreasonable to expect any country to do more to advance its own interests. And I would ask you to imagine what U.S. military and defence leaders think when they have to listen to complaints sometimes that we should do more, when it's plain to see that all too often the ones complaining aren't doing enough themselves." DELEGATES LISTENING TO SPEECHES AUDIENCE/DELEGATES CLAPPING AS CARTER PREPARES TO LEAVE STAGE
- Embargoed: 25th December 2016 09:17
- Keywords: Bahrain Defense Secretary Ash Carter US Syria Iran military Islamic State Gulf
- Location: MANAMA, BAHRAIN
- City: MANAMA, BAHRAIN
- Country: Bahrain
- Reuters ID: LVA0015CAUHXJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The United States will send 200 additional military personnel including special forces to the campaign against Islamic State in Syria to create pressure against the group's Raqqa hub, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Saturday (December 10).
The arrival of the 200 additional forces in Syria, joining 300 special forces already there backing local allies, would bring to bear the "full weight of U.S. forces around the theatre of operations like the funnel of a giant tornado", Carter said, addressing regional security chiefs at the Manama Dialogue security conference in Bahrain.
Syria's civil war pits Assad, backed by Iran, Russia and some Shi'ite militias, against mostly Sunni Arab rebels backed by Turkey, Gulf monarchies and the United States.
A secondary conflict puts all of them at war with Islamic State.
Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria are the pillars of Islamic State's self-declared caliphate, and recapturing them would be a pivotal defeat for the ultra-hardline Sunni jihadists.
Carter said that despite the eventual defeat of IS in Syria the violence there would not stop until an end was put to the civil war, and Russia's intervention to back President Bashar al-Assad had only inflamed the conflict.
Russia entered into the war saying it wanted to promote a smooth political transition and fight IS, Carter said.
"But then it did neither of those things," he added.
Carter reiterated a U.S. call for more defence cooperation among Gulf Arab states, a delicate question ever since President Barack Obama last year told The Atlantic magazine some states in the Gulf and Europe were "free-riders" who called for U.S. action without getting involved themselves.
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