MOSCOW, September 19 (RIA Novosti) – The Syrian military forces are spread thinly over the country's territory but are capable of enduring 10 more years of fighting against Islamic State (IS) militants, al-Qaeda-linked fighters, and other radical groups, The Daily Star reported Friday.
"The Syrian army can fight for the coming 10 years," a Lebanese politician allied to the Syrian government and with detailed knowledge of the conflict in Syria said Friday as quoted by the Daily Star.
Syrian government forces are currently facing the challenging task of fighting the IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The radical Sunni group, which is an al-Qaeda offshoot, fought against Syrian President Bashar Assad in the country's civil war before launching an offensive in Iraq in June 2014.
Ceasing vast areas in both countries, the IS announced the establishment of an Islamic caliphate on all the territories under its control later that month.
In August, US President Barack Obama authorized limited airstrikes on IS positions in northern and Western Iraq.
On September 10, Obama unveiled his strategy for defeating the IS, which includes forming an international anti-IS coalition and authorizing US airstrikes against IS positions in Syria, while simultaneously continuing the airstrikes in Iraq.
On Thursday, US President Barack Obama said Washington will arm and train Syrian rebels as part of its efforts to eliminate the IS threat.