CIA weighs expanded role in ISIS fight

The CIA may take on a larger role in the U.S. fight to combat Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, according to a report in The Washington Post. 

Citing U.S. officials, the Post says the White House is considering “plans to escalate the CIA’s role in arming and training fighters in Syria.” 

According to the report, the Obama administration is concerned that the Pentagon has not been able to arm and train moderate rebels fast enough to combat the Islamic militants. 

“We need a little more urgency in helping the moderates, and the agency was viewed as the best way to get that going fast,”  a senior U.S. official told the newspaper.

Congress approved a measure that included a provision to arm and train the Syrian rebels in the effort to destroy ISIS. 

President Obama recently asked for $5.6 billion in additional funds to pay for U.S. airstrikes aimed at routing the militant terror group that invaded northern Iraq earlier this year; those airstrikes have been carried out in Iraq and portions of Syria. 

Last week, the U.S. dispatched 50 U.S. military personnel to the al-Anbar province in Iraq to review facilities that could be used as an “advise and assist operation location in support of Iraq Security Forces,” according to a military spokeswoman. 

Officials with the CIA and at the White House did not comment on the report. 

This story was posted at 2:27 p.m. and updated at 5:21 p.m.