Pentagon: 1,000 Troops to Train ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebel Force

First Troops Heading to Qatar to Begin Training

The Pentagon has offered some of the first details of the long-standing plan to create a new “moderate” Syrian rebel force out of whole cloth to fight both ISIS and the Assad government.

Officials say the program is going to involve around 1,000 troops, split between Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar. 400 troops are said to be heading for Qatar to begin the training.

Though it was initially believed the training would center around existing pro-US factions in the rebellion, the Pentagon has since revealed they intend to form an entirely new faction.

They’ve also said they believe it will take at least a year for this force to be capable of any operations, from the time that the training begins. It remains to be seen how many recruits they’ll be able to get, and whether these factions will be any more effective than the previous pro-US rebels.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.