Sowing divisions US admits training only 60 Syrians to fight ISIL

Programme, launched in May, had been designed to train as many as 5,400 opposition fighters a year to battle the group.

  • Published:
The programme, which launched in May in Jordan and Turkey, was designed to train as many as 5,400 fighters a year play

The programme, which launched in May in Jordan and Turkey, was designed to train as many as 5,400 fighters a year

24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

Defence Secretary, Ash Carter has told Congress that the US has only trained about 60 Syrian opposition fighters to battle the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), far below expectations.

Carter cited rigorous vetting of recruits for the programme which launched in May in Jordan and Turkey. It was designed to train as many as 5,400 fighters a year and seen as a test of President Barack Obama's strategy of engaging local partners to combat ISIL fighters.

Carter's acknowledgement on Tuesday of the low number of recruits will give ammunition to critics who say Obama's strategy is too limited to have any influence on Syria's conflict.

"Given the poor numbers of recruited and trained Syrian fighters thus far, I am doubtful we can achieve our goal of training a few thousand this year," said Republican Senator John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The force the US is training risks sowing divisions and cannot succeed without directly targeting Syrian government forces, who are currently off-limits for US offensive operations, some Syrian rebel leaders have said.

President Obama was briefed by his top military commanders at the Pentagon on Monday.

He said at a news conference later that "we will do more to train and equip the moderate opposition in Syria," but did not offer details.

According to Carter, the number of recruits would increase as the US learned how to better streamline vetting.

"We are also refining our curriculum, expanding our outreach to the moderate opposition, and incorporating lessons learned from the first training class," Carter said.

Obama has yet to announce whether he will go beyond supplying and financing the proxy force, and protect them with US fighter jets if they clash with Assad's forces.

Download our mobile app today.

Android - Google Play Store

iPhone - Apple App Store

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos





Top Articles

1 Francisca Oteng-Mensah 24 year old MP complains about unbearable...bullet
2 Asantehemaa's Death Funeral of Asantehemaa underway [Photos]bullet
3 Christmas Hamper Nana Addo rejects $500,000 from corporate organisationbullet
4 Corruption I'll make sure Opuni goes to jail - Kennedy Agyapongbullet
5 Manhyia Palace One shot, several collapse at Asantehemaa’s funeralbullet
6 Asantehemaa’s Funeral Nana Afia Kobi to be buried with gold...bullet
7 Asantehemaa's Death I'm homeless; Otumfuo Osei Tutu II pays...bullet
8 Asantehemaa's Funeral Mahama, MPs mourn Asantehemaa [Photos]bullet
9 Gambia Crisis Twitter explodes with rage over Hanna...bullet
10 Gambia Crisis Ghana deploys military to Gambiabullet

Top Videos

1 In Zimbabwe President Mugabe’s 70 year-old aide marries his 23-year-old...bullet
2 Refugee Ghanaian to lose fingers after 7-hour trek to cross US borderbullet
3 Vitiligo Enam Honya - is challenging what you think about beautybullet
4 Obinim What happen'd when we fact checked Obinim's Bible knowledgebullet
5 Video Taxi driver terrified after an encounter with a ghostbullet
6 Woyome Judgement Debt Kweku Baako dances over Amidu's winbullet
7 Obinim saga We had sex only once - Obinim victims confessbullet
8 Watch Kumchacha delivers Counselor Lutterodt from 'demons'bullet
9 Bishop Obinim Saga Teenagers disciplined by Obinim speak outbullet
10 Kwame Nkrumah Interchange Water leaks from hole in...bullet

News