Pentagon Selects 400 Recruits to Become Syrian Rebels

Background Checks Continue on Would Be US-Backed Rebels

While the US has not yet begun training its would-be pro-US rebel force for Syria yet, and indeed hasn’t even decided if they’re going to support them once they’re done, the Pentagon today affirmed that the first 400 recruits have been selected.

The recruits, part of some 1,800 identified potential candidates for rebellion, are still being vetted, and after background checks, Pentagon officials say they could be ready to send to Syria as early as fall.

What happens then is anyone’s guess. The Pentagon has talked up this program as training and arming some 15,000 rebel troops over the next few years, but hasn’t identified much more than 10% of that as a pool to draw from.

Sending 400 “rebels” back to Syria with a few months training and a bunch of pricey US-made weaponry seems a recipe for a quick round of losses, 400 slain rebels, and ISIS collecting another 400 rebels worth of US weaponry to add to their growing collection.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of