World News

U.S. rethinks strategy for battling Islamic State in Syria: NYT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is rethinking its strategy for battling the Islamic State in Syria, the New York Times reported on Monday, with the Pentagon looking into moving more fighters into safer zones, providing better intelligence and improving the skills of trained rebels.

The options, which are classified, are circulating among top officials at the Department of Defense, the newspaper reported, citing sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

They include enlarging the size of the groups of trained rebels sent back into Syria and shifting the location of the deployments to places where there is more local support, the Times reported.

Highlighting the fragility of U.S.-led efforts to train and equip thousands of Syrian opposition members, the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front said in July it had detained some of a first group of less than 60 U.S.-trained rebels weeks after they were deployed.

Last month the U.S.-led coalition began focusing on deploying rebel fighters trained in Turkey to push the insurgent Islamic State away from Syria’s borders.

Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Paul Simao