After abandoning a near-identical program last September, conceding it to be “an embarrassing failure,” the Pentagon has announced today that it has begun again with training “dozens” of Syrian rebels to battle ISIS.
The 2015 version of this program trained two classes of rebels. The first class of 54 rebels was routed almost immediately by al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front, while the slightly larger second class surrendered to Nusra outright, handing over their weapons and vehicles to the Islamists in return for safe passage.
Wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on that fiasco, the Pentagon announced the program was being killed, but before long started talking again about starting another program aimed at creating a “pro-US” rebel faction.
But it’s back, and while the Pentagon isn’t making the same bold predictions of having a rebel force capable of conquering Syria in a few years time, they still seem determined to at least keep on with these smaller, largely pointless schemes.
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