ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE – US President Barack Obama will convene a meeting of his National Security Council next week at the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters to review the fight against Islamic State militants, the White House said on Friday.
The meeting, to be held on Wednesday, comes as the administration weighs a plan to increase the number of US special operations forces deployed to Syria to try to advance recent gains against Islamic State. The top US general, Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said he is working on options to present to Obama to increase US forces in Iraq to bolster Iraqi forces preparing for a major offensive against the militant group in Mosul. Obama has held similar meetings, at the Pentagon and at the State Department, on fighting Islamic State, which holds areas of Syria and Iraq. “There’s no particular operational reason for him having it there,” White House spokeswoman Jen Friedman told reporters. “It’s just the next in a series of these meetings.”