The U.S. military will send its first class of trained Syrian fighters back into Syria in the next several weeks, in what promises to be a key test for the Obama administration’s effort to stand up an effective local force to combat the Islamic State, Pentagon officials said.

A U.S. military official said that American and allied forces are wrapping up training in Turkey for the first group of moderate opposition fighters, numbering fewer than 100. The men will be sent south into Syria by the end of the summer.

Before that occurs, military officials must finalize plans for reinserting the rebels into an active war zone. […]