Pentagon Plans Sharp Scaledown in Efforts to Train Syrian Rebels

The Pentagon plans to announce significant roll backs in the U.S. program to back rebel factions in Syria, possibly shifting to more contacts with Kurdish forces that have battled the Islamic State, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Friday. The change reflects widespread concerns over failures to mobilize a credible U.S.-backed fighting force among so-called moderate rebels opposing the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is now supported by Russian military power. Speaking in London, Carter said the United States was “devising a new approach” on the program to train and equip Syrian rebels in the more than four-year civil war. He did not give additional details, saying that an announcement was expected later in Washington. U.S. officials have previously suggested that focus should move to aiding established Kurdish forces and other factions rather than trying to build separate U.S.-aided units.
Country(s): 
Syria
Program(s): 
Syria Train and Equip Fund
Date Published: 
Friday, October 9, 2015
Author(s): 
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