‘I WASN’T SATISFIED WITH THE EFFORTS’: Pentagon Ending Program to Train and Equip Syrian Rebels

It could also be because they’re giving arms to the enemy. Just saying.

The Pentagon on Friday announced it was ending its failed $500 million program to “train and equip” Syrian rebels and replacing it with a far less ambitious plan, defense officials said.

The “training” part of the program — which managed to field only “four or five” Syrian rebels into the battle against ISIS at a $50 million price tag — has been halted, according to senior defense officials.

Instead of combat training for the rebels, they will now be used as “enablers” to identify ISIS targets on the ground for U.S. and coalition airstrikes. They will also be advised on how to interact with U.S. military “at a distance,” and there will be no American forces on the ground in Syria

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The “equip” part of the program, which provided small arms, ammunition and vehicles, will be dramatically reduced to providing weapons to some 5,000 friendly moderate Syrian rebels to carry on the fight against both ISIS and presumably, the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The remaining $450 million will be spent on this scaled back plan.

In a statement, Defense Secretary Ash Carter confirmed the immediate move, and said he believes the revamped initiative will help “increase the combat power” of the anti-ISIS fighters in Syria and stop them from advancing.

Read more: NBC News


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