Europe

US is sending 200 more troops to Syria to battle IS

  • FILE - In this June 30, 2016, file photo, Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon. Carter on Friday, Dec. 9, made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan to consult with military commanders and deliver a pre-holiday pep talk to U.S. troops. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

    FILE - In this June 30, 2016, file photo, Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon. Carter on Friday, Dec. 9, made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan to consult with military commanders and deliver a pre-holiday pep talk to U.S. troops. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2016 file photo, Defense Secretary Ash Carter testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Saturday that as many as 200 more American troops are being sent to Syria to help Kurdish and Arab fighters capture the Islamic State group's key stronghold of Raqqa. Carter made the announcement Saturday at a security conference in Manama, Bahrain. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2016 file photo, Defense Secretary Ash Carter testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Saturday that as many as 200 more American troops are being sent to Syria to help Kurdish and Arab fighters capture the Islamic State group's key stronghold of Raqqa. Carter made the announcement Saturday at a security conference in Manama, Bahrain. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)  (The Associated Press)

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter says as many as 200 more American troops are being sent to Syria to help Kurdish and Arab fighters capture the Islamic State group's key stronghold of Raqqa.

Carter made the announcement Saturday at a security conference in Manama, Bahrain.

The extra troops will include special operations forces and are in addition to 300 U.S. troops already authorized for the effort to recruit, organize, train and advise local Syrian forces to combat IS.

Carter said the extra troops will help the local forces in their anticipated push to retake Raqqa, the de facto capital of the extremist group's self-styled caliphate, and to deny sanctuary to IS after Raqqa is captured.