Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Syria | Gen. Ray Odierno | military | train | Free Syrian | fighters

Gen. Odierno: Syrian Fighter Training Should Begin This Spring

By    |   Wednesday, 25 Feb 2015 07:46 PM

Training of Syrian rebel fighters is expected to begin in March or April and will take four to six weeks, says U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno.

In an interview aired Wednesday on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," Odierno said the vetting process of Free Syrian Army members is still taking place.

The Defense Department announced one week ago it has screened about 1,200 moderate Syrian rebels to participate in training in Turkey, Saudia Arabia and Qatar, The Associated Press reported. Congress authorized the training and gave $500 million to train 5,000 rebels over the next year.

But the plan has been discussed for months, with Sen. John McCain complaining that by the time the Syrian forces finally get trained they'll be outnumbered anyway. The Arizona Republican also says that without U.S. air support, the troops will be sitting ducks for the Syrian air force of President Bashar Assad.

The Free Syrians are fighting a three-way war with ISIS and Bashar's forces. Odierno told Blitzer the Free Syrians would be fighting ISIS after their training, but Turkey has said they also expect them to go after Assad's regime.

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Training of Syrian rebel fighters is expected to begin in March or April and will take four to six weeks, says U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen Ray Odierno. In an interview aired Wednesday on CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Odierno said the vetting process of Free...
Gen. Ray Odierno, military, train, Free Syrian, fighters, spring
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2015-46-25
Wednesday, 25 Feb 2015 07:46 PM
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