With Syria escalation, Obama may win leverage on and off battlefield

October 31, 2015 5:04 AM

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WASHINGTON President Barack Obama's decision to send special operations forces to Syria is a calculated military escalation that could increase U.S. leverage, both on and off the battlefield, say current and former U.S. officials.

The policy shift coincides with an expanding clandestine CIA program that channels weapons to opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a new diplomatic push led by Secretary of State John Kerry to find a political solution to the conflict.

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