US gears up to train ‘moderate’ rebels for fighting Islamic State in Syria

Members of al Qaeda’s Nusra Front drive in a convoy as they tour villages, which they said they have seized control of from Syrian rebel factions, in the southern countryside of Idlib, December 2, 2014. Reuters

(Reuters) – The United States is creating a vigorous vetting process to weed out undesirables among the Syrian rebels it will train to fight Islamic State, but some of the new recruits will be familiar faces requiring far more limited screening.

The program is expected to include a number of fighters already known to the U.S. government who could take as little as a day to initially vet, U.S. officials said.

The United States already has ties with networks of Syrian fighters, including through a clandestine CIA program that has already trained rebels and through U.S. government programs to provide non-lethal aid.

“We (the U.S. government) have a current relationship with people on the ground. We are not starting from scratch,” one U.S. official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The priority is to screen out human rights violators, spies and rebels who might switch sides.

The Pentagon said on Tuesday that Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia offered to host the training program but declined to discuss names of other nations which might also participate. People familiar with the planning told Reuters that Jordan had also offered to host the program. Jordan’s embassy declined to comment…


Big mistake. The US should stop cooperating with Turkey and Qatar in particular. It would be better to do nothing than this.

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  • Clausewitz

    Didn’t wee already do this when we armed the Mujahedeen, and look where that got us.

    • Justin

      They can’t make the unislamic can they?
      As long as these so-called “moderates” are muslims they cannot be trusted
      because over night they can change into jihadists or they can work with the jihadists secretly pretending to be “moderates”. In any case, America will be the losers once again and it is because of their willful blindness.

    • Alain

      Yes, the Taliban whatever the spelling.

      • Clausewitz

        Nailed it.

    • DavidinNorthBurnaby

      Should have let the Soviets flounder around in that quagmire. Instead, look who’s in it.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    The State Department never learns.

  • Surele Surele

    giving weapons to the enemy. that should work out

    • Frau Katze

      Never fails. Especially if the even more rabid enemy steals the weapons.

      • Clausewitz

        The enemy of my enemy is my friend has never really worked. But then people have always refused to learn from history.

  • Clink9

    Break out the beer and popcorn. Sit back and watch this epic fail.

  • Santos2

    Too bad the State Department can’t train them to be as stupid and as gullible as the State Department.

  • Canadian

    Training and arming those who plan to kill you isa new strategy for me.
    I always thought that the goal was to kill the other one before he kills you.
    War has changed a lot, it seems.