The Pentagon said Tuesday it had suspended bringing moderate rebels from Syria to participate in its troubled train-and-equip program in Turkey and Jordan.
The training mission, aimed at readying rebels to fight Islamic State jihadists in Syria, has come under fire after it got off to a disastrous start, leaving defense officials scrambling to salvage some iteration of the $500 million program.
Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said the entire program was “under review,” though US forces are still recruiting for the program.
“As we review the program, we have paused the actual movement of new recruits from Syria,” he said.
“We also continue to provide support for current forces on the ground and to train the cohorts currently in the program.”
The program’s first graduates were attacked earlier this year by Al-Qaeda’s local franchise, the Al-Nusra Front, and fell apart.
Then last week, the Pentagon admitted that the second group of around 70 fighters had given equipment and ammunition to Al-Nusra — purportedly in exchange for safe passage.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.