US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power insisted the US plan to train and arm a new faction of Syrian rebels was not aimed simply at the destruction of ISIS, but was also meant to fight the Assad government in Syria.
“The training also will service these troops in the same struggle they’ve been in since the beginning of this conflict against the Assad regime,” Power insisted.
The plan, approved by Congress last week, aims to create a new fighting force of 5,000 rebels within a year, and will be made up of fighters recruited from various other rebel factions.
Previous US attempts to train and arm rebels against ISIS have resulted in a large number of those rebels defecting to ISIS, and many of the US arms ending up in ISIS hands as well. Officials concede that the new plan is likely to result in more defections, though they insist the bulk of the force will remain opposed to ISIS.