Pentagon gives three objectives for Syria

The Pentagon on Monday provided three objectives for its plan to train and equip moderate Syrian forces to take on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (SIS).

One objective is to "to hold and defend liberated territories from ISIL," Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said, using an alternative name for the group.

The second objective is "an offensive function to increase pressure on ISIL as well as the regimeā€ of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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"We've from the very beginning that the Assad regime has perpetrated horrendous acts against its own population. The moderate opposition was formed as you know in an effort overthrow the Assad regime," Warren said.

The third objective is a "counter-extremist function capable of conducting potentially some specific counter-terror operations," he said.

Warren said it was too soon to be able to know exactly who would command the rebel forces against ISIS after they finish training.

The Pentagon plans to train and equip more than 5,000 of the rebels for one year, Warren said.

The spokesman did not detail exactly who would be training the Syrian forces, or what type of training would be performed.

The Pentagon said it would not start training until Congress approves the authority, which could come this as early as this week.