On Wednesday, U.S. officials told The New York Times that Saudi Arabia will agree to an American request to use a Saudi base to train moderate Syrian opposition fighters.
"We have a commitment from the kingdom of Saudi Arabia to be a full partner in train-and-equip, and to host that program," a senior Obama administration said. The details are still being determined, including the site of the base.
On Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with senior leaders from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq during a Saudi-hosted strategy session to discuss ways to counter ISIS.
"We are in a position, I think, to be pretty specific with the Saudis about what we'd like," a senior State Department official told The Times. "We're fairly confident that they will be forward leaning on this." The official shared that several efforts to cripple the group will be ramped up, including a larger crackdown on oil smuggling and contributions from private donors, both of which are lining the pockets of ISIS. Regional defense ministers are also scheduled to meet soon to talk about expanding over-flight rights so airstrikes against ISIS can be broadened.
The Saudis are concerned about ISIS posing a threat to the kingdom, and in a statement, the White House said that President Obama called King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and the two "agreed on the need for increased training and equipping of the moderate Syrian opposition."