First Pentagon-Trained Rebels, All 54 of Them, Enter Syria

The 'New Syrian Force' Aims to Ally With Moderate Rebels

New reports out of Turkey are that the struggling US training mission, aimed at creating a new Syrian rebel faction, has borne its first fruit, and the first US-trained rebels have entered Syria, awash in US weapons.

A convoy of vehicles crossed into Syria from neighboring Turkey, and are being called the “New Syrian Force” by Pentagon officials. 30 vehicles strong, the force amounts to 54 fighters with some rudimentary training and some pricey US aid.

The Pentagon is refusing to confirm the details of the new deployment of NSF fighters, saying that for “operational security” they aren’t allowed to discuss where they are and what they’re doing. The reports are that they are going to try to ally with the old pro-US rebel factions, to the extent they still exist.

CENTCOM spokesman Major Curtis Kellogg did, however, insist that the NSF personnel are going to be “countering ISIS” now that their training is over. With 54 troops, however, the real question is whether ISIS will even notice they’re being confronted by this new faction.

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.