The number of U.S. diplomats in Syria has doubled as Islamic State fighters near a military defeat, U.S. Defense Secretary Mattis said on Tuesday.

The U.S.-led coalition, along with local partners, has largely cleared the militant group from Iraq and Syria but remains concerned about its resurgence.

“Our diplomats there on the ground have been doubled in number. As we see the military operations becoming less, we will see the diplomatic effort now able to take (root)” Mattis said.

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