April 25, 2016 / 10:28 AM / 3 years ago

Syrian alliance welcomes U.S. support, wants more

BEIRUT (Reuters) - An alliance of Syrian armed groups fighting Islamic State said on Monday it welcomed U.S. plans to send as many as 250 additional American personnel to Syria but urged greater support including the provision of guided anti-armor missiles.

The Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance, which includes the powerful Kurdish YPG militia, is the main Syrian partner of the United States and its allies in the battle with Islamic State.

“Any support they offer is positive but we hope there will be greater support,” SDF spokesman Talal Silo said.

U.S. President Barack Obama confirmed on Monday that he had approved the deployment of up to 250 additional U.S. personnel to Syria, including special forces, to train and assist local forces fighting Islamic State militants.

Silo said the SDF had yet to be informed of the U.S. decision to send more personnel to supplement 50 people already deployed. He described the partnership between the U.S. and SDF as “strategic”, adding that any extra support was welcome.

“So far we have been supplied only with ammunition, and we were hoping to be supplied with military hardware, and this is something we were promised,” he said.

The SDF alliance was formed last October.

Reporting by Tom Perry; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Ed Osmond

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