US Preparing To Send 1st Group Of ‘Moderate Rebels’ Onto Syrian Battlefield Against ISIS
One hundred going against thousands, and rather than providing heavy weapons to Kurds.
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.
But even as training concludes for this initial cohort of fighters, major questions remain about the effect the program will have on Syria’s crowded battlefield. The White House has not yet decided, for example, what sort of support it will provide to the rebels, especially if they come into conflict with forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.