Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Syria | pentagon | fighters | training | islamic state

WashPost: Pentagon Trained Fewer Than 100 to Fight Islamic State

Image: WashPost: Pentagon Trained Fewer Than 100 to Fight Islamic State
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By    |   Tuesday, 28 Jun 2016 11:52 AM

A Pentagon training program aimed at combating the Islamic State has trained fewer than 100 Syrian fighters, according to the Washington Post.

The Obama administration abandoned a plan in October 2015 after repeated setbacks — the new plan trains small groups to act as liaisons with the U.S. and other allies.

The abandoned plan trained around 200 fighters before it was cancelled.

Military officials told the Post that they were training "spotters," not infantry troops. Their plan involves identifying Syrian leaders and training them to spot potential targets for airstrikes, according to a report in Stars and Stripes

The Pentagon also has around 300 troops who are training Syrian factions allied with the coalition, including Kurdish fighters and Arab tribal forces, which officials hope will have success in encircling militants in the ISIS-held capital Raqqa, according to the Post.

U.S. forces are offering advice and equipment to local groups in northeast Syria, away from Syrian government troops. U.S. personnel are providing ammunition and weapons one operation at a time, according to the Post.

"We provide enough for them to accomplish the next objective," one official told the Post.

Training the spotters is seen as a key objective, one official said in the Stars and Stripes report.

"Rather than training 10 people to use a rifle, if you can train a smaller number of people to accurately describe their own position relative to the position of enemy forces, it enables them to better coordinate resupply and describe enemy positions," the official said.

Although less than 100 have participated so far, those commanders who have been trained lead more than 10,000 fighters in Syria, according to the Washington Times.

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A Pentagon training program aimed at combating the Islamic State has trained fewer than 100 fighters, according to the Washington Post.
pentagon, fighters, training, islamic state
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2016-52-28
Tuesday, 28 Jun 2016 11:52 AM
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