AIN ISSA, Syria (AP) — Some 250 residents of Syria's Raqqa province are the latest batch to graduate from a brief U.S. training course. They are part of an internal security force to hold and secure areas as they are captured from Islamic State militants.
The graduation ceremony Thursday in the desert town of Ain Issa, north of Raqqa, was attended by a few American trainers who oversee the force and its preparation. Members will man checkpoints, identify IS sleeper cells and detect explosives.
U.S. officials have said the force is expected to reach approximately 3,500 members.
Wissam, a Kurdish resident of Ain Issa who gave only his first name, is one of the trainers. He said so far 800 forces have been trained and deployed around at least five areas in Raqqa province.
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