US would welcome effective Syrian effort to defeat IS

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- A U.S. military official says Washington would welcome a concerted effort by the Syrian government or its Iranian-backed partner forces to defeat the Islamic State group in its remaining strongholds in Syria.

Army Col. Ryan Dillon told reporters at the Pentagon Friday that the U.S. goal is to defeat IS wherever it exists. He says if others, including Iran, Syria and Russia, want to fight them as well, then "we absolutely have no problem with that."

The battlespace in Syria is getting more crowded and complex as IS-held territory shrinks.

Syrian government troops, for example, have reached the Iraqi border in an area where IS leaders and fighters have been gathering. The area is far from the main battle lines of Syria's civil war, which still rages.

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