Gen Austin: No Plan to Support Syrian Rebels Once They’re Trained

Says US Hasn't Settled on Any Policy Protecting Rebels

Testifying at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today, Centcom commander Gen. Lloyd Austin warned that while the US had decided to go ahead with creating and training a new rebel force in Syria, they as yet have no plans to actually support those rebels after they’re trained and returned to Syria.

Gen. Austin said it was expected the rebels would need help with logistics, intelligence and air support, but that there was no policy in place to provide any of those things yet.

The Pentagon initially said they intended to train 5,000 rebels per year for three years to create this force, which is intended to defeat both ISIS and the Assad government. As yet, they’ve only identified 2,000 potential recruits.

For now, Gen. Austin said his advice was to continue with the training and arming of the rebels and then try to figure out how, or even if, the US will end up supporting them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of