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US Terminates Syrian Rebel Training

09.10.2015 16:42

The United States has terminated the Pentagon's multibillion dollar program of training and sending equipment to the so-called moderate Syrian opposition, US media reported Friday, citing a senior Defense Department official.

According to the unnamed official, the training of the opposition in Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates will be suspended and the rebels will be trained in a small center in Turkey instead.

The New York Times reported that the decision is linked to the fact that "the beleaguered program had failed to produce any kind of ground combat forces capable of taking on the Islamic State in Syria."

Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war four and a half years ago, the United States and some of its allies have supported what they term "moderate" armed Syrian opposition factions, as they do not believe Syrian President Bashar Assad to be the country's legitimate authority.

An international anti-Islamic State coalition, led by the United States, has been training some of these groups, as well as providing them with arms.