Dozens of US special operations troops will arrive in Syria “very soon” as promised by president Barack Obama’s administration, a senior official has said.

The troops will help organise local forces battling the self-proclaimed Islamic State in northern Syria, according to special envoy Brett McGurk.

“They will be going in very soon,” McGurk told CBS television’s Face the Nation.

His comments came as Syrian president Bashar al-Assad said his troops were advancing on “nearly every front” in the country’s four-year civil war thanks to Russian airstrikes that began in September.

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