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10/9/15

Syria: Pentagon Ends Program to Train Syrian Rebels, - by im Miklaszewski, Erik Ortiz and Laura Saravia - NBC News

 The Pentagon on Friday announced it was ending its failed $500 million program to "train and equip" Syrian rebels and replacing it with a far less ambitious plan, defense officials said.

The "training" part of the program — which managed to field only "four or five" Syrian rebels into the battle against ISIS at a $50 million price tag — has been halted, according to senior defense officials
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Instead of combat training for the rebels, they will now be used as "enablers" to identify ISIS targets on the ground for U.S. and coalition airstrikes. They will also be advised on how to interact with U.S. military "at a distance," and there will be no American forces on the ground in Syria

The "equip" part of the program, which provided small arms, ammunition and vehicles, will be dramatically reduced to providing weapons to some 5,000 friendly moderate Syrian rebels to carry on the fight against both ISIS and presumably, the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Read more: Pentagon Ends Program to Train Syrian Rebels, Starts Revamped Initiative - NBC News

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