Reuters International

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S.-led coalition battling Islamic State will look for chances to attack the militant group in Syria from the south, potentially expanding U.S. efforts in that part of the country, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday.

"We will aggressively pursue opportunities to build pressure on ISIL in Syria from the south, complimenting our existing and robust efforts," Carter said, speaking to American troops at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, using an acronym for Islamic State. "This of course will have the added benefits of helping the security of our Jordanian partners and further splitting the Syria theater of operation from the Iraqi theater of operation."

Recently, much of the U.S.-led military coalition activity, including air strikes in support of Syrian rebels, has focused on northern Syria.

(Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati and Idrees Ali)

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