US-Trained Syrian Rebel Slams Pentagon Program

Says It'll Take Decades to Create a Real Force

Capt. Ammar Wawi, described as one of the “senior” fighters within the “Division 30” Syrian rebel faction trained by the Pentagon, was harshly critical of the Pentagon plan in his latest comments, saying the project is too slow to produce anything meaningful.

Wawi was among 54 rebels who were trained by the Pentagon over the past six months, though already a meaningful fraction of those rebels have been caught or killed by al-Qaeda. The US says it provided “defensive support fire,” though Wawi insists this came after the fact.

The biggest problem is that there are only 54 of them, or 30-40 that are actually left. Wawi noted that if it takes six months to get that many it’ll take decades to create a significant force that can do anything meaningful on the ground.

The Pentagon spent hundreds of millions of dollars on this plan, and continues to talk it up as their go-to idea for eventually winning the Syrian part of the ISIS war. They are expressing disappointment at how slow the rebels are being trained but don’t seem to be doing anything different.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of