Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | syrian | rebels | future | jeopardy | isis | attack

Future of Remaining Group of US-Trained Syrian Rebels in Jeopardy After ISIS Attack

Future of Remaining Group of US-Trained Syrian Rebels in Jeopardy After ISIS Attack
(Wire Services Photo) 

By    |   Friday, 27 May 2016 11:07 PM

The Pentagon has spent $500 million training and arming Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State — but only one small group remains, and their future is even in jeopardy after a suicide attack earlier this month.

"I’m not saying the Americans let us down, but there is dereliction of duty," Lt. Col. Mohammed Tallaa, a Syrian officer who defected and commands the New Syrian Army, told The Washington Post. "They are not doing what they could.

"We don’t want the Americans to disrespect the lives of our men," Tallaa said.

The army completed its U.S. training in Jordan — seizing a small piece of ISIS territory in southeastern Syria in March, according to the Post. They have held their ground until the May 7 suicide attack shortly before dawn.

Many members of Tallaa's army were killed, though he would not specify how many on the record. The assault devastated the small force, which continues to wait for weapons and other equipment that had been promised by the United States.

Army Col. Steve Warren, a military spokesman, told the Post that warplanes responded to a call for help when the base was attacked, but that it had occurred so quickly that the jets did not arrive in time.

ISIS spots in the area have since been hit by airstrikes — and the new weapons and supplies have been delivered, Warren said.

Warren said the U.S. military believed the group will survive.

"They still have Tanaf, they have been resupplied, and we think they can hold," he told the Post. "We think they have enough firepower, and we are providing support with airstrikes as available."

The Pentagon's $500 million rebel-training program, conceived by President Barack Obama two years ago, has been plagued with problems from the start.

Training got off to a slow start, only beginning this year, and the program was suspended a short time later.

That occurred after the first group of trainees was kidnapped by the al-Qaida affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, and the second defected — leaving its weapons to be confiscated, the Post reports.

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The Pentagon has spent $500 million training and arming Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State — but only one small group remains, and their future is even in jeopardy after a suicide attack earlier this month.
syrian, rebels, future, jeopardy, isis, attack
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2016-07-27
Friday, 27 May 2016 11:07 PM
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