Votel

Top US commander makes secret visit to Syria

Army Gen. Joseph Votel speaks to reporters Saturday, May 21, 2016 during a secret trip to Syria. Votel said he is encouraged by progress in building local Syrian Arab and Kurdish forces to fight the Islamic State. (AP Photo/Robert Burns)NORTHERN SYRIA (AP) — On a secret trip to Syria, the new commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East said he felt a moral obligation to enter a war zone to check on his troops and make his own assessment of progress in organizing local Arab and Kurd fighters for what has been a slow campaign to push the Islamic State group out of Syria.

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