Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the U.S. military is shifting its stance in Syria as the program to arm the Kurdish opposition comes to a close and is replaced by increased support to local police and security forces.
Mattis says the Pentagon is changing the composition of U.S. forces in Syria to reflect the collapse of the Islamic State group there and a renewed emphasis on finding a diplomatic path to peace. He says the shift in American forces will support the diplomatic process.
Mattis spoke Friday to reporters on his plane at the start of a five-day trip to the Middle East. His comments came on the heels of the announcement last week that the U.S. would stop actively providing arms to Syrian Kurds.