Turkey, US Sign Deal to Train, Arm Syrian Rebels

Nations Still Disagree on Who Those Rebels Will Fight

After months of discussion, Turkey and the United States have finally signed an agreement on the training and armament of the new “moderate” Syrian rebel faction, with the two nations each providing an equal number of trainers for the operation.

The Pentagon has hyped plans to train 5,000 fighters a year for this faction, though yesterday they conceded they’ve only even identified 1,200 potential targets for training.

The lack of recruits is fueling reports that the US intends to give every group of 4-6 rebels a pickup truck with a GPS system that will allow them to call in US airstrikes against their chosen targets.

Absent from the three-year agreement is any definition of who the Syrian rebels will actually be rebelling against. The two nations have been arguing over this throughout the discussion of the training plan.

The US envisions the new rebel faction attacking ISIS, while Turkey doesn’t envision them going after ISIS at all, and instead says they should be attacking Damascus and trying to impose regime change.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.