U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says American special operations troops being sent to Syria will only fight Islamic State militants and won't become involved in the long-running civil war.

Kerry calls IS a threat to every nation and says U.S. policy is clear — the group must be defeated.

Kerry isn't ruling out a further U.S. escalation of the fight, saying he can't predict the future.

The Obama administration is sending up to 50 special operations troops to assist Kurdish and Arab forces in northern Syria. It's the first pledge of American military boots on the ground in Syria.

Kerry spoke Saturday at a news conference in Kyrgyzstan alongside the country's foreign Minister, Erlan Abdyldaev.