Pentagon Begins Dubious Syrian Rebel Training Scheme

Officials Concede They're Still Not Sure How Much Support Rebels Will Get

Jordanian officials have today confirmed that the Pentagon has begun training the first batch of “pre-screened” fighters which are going to be used to create a new, pro-US rebel faction for the Syrian war.

400 rebels are currently being trained, and officials have said they intend to eventually train up to 5,000 fighters, though they haven’t found nearly that many candidates.

It seems unlikely that this faction of fighters will be a significant player in Syria, and they are expected to be routed by ISIS almost immediately upon being sent back.

The Pentagon is intending to provide some non-specific support for the rebels in the future, though Defense Secretary Ash Carter reiterated that they’re not sure how much support there will actually be. Despite being unsure if the new faction will help or even if they’ll really back it, the Pentagon is still moving forward with the $500 million scheme.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of