The Levant News — The US operation to arm and train so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels to fight against the government of Bashar al-Assad and oppose ISIL was destined to fail from the beginning.
A group of Syrian rebels supported by US politicians for their “moderate” position, and who received US military equipment, has disbanded after heavy losses.
Finally Admitting Failure? US Reportedly Terminates Multibillion Program of Training Syrian Rebels
Since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War, the United States and its allies supported the idea of arming and funding so-called “moderate” Syrian militants fighting against the government of Bashar al-Assad, hoping that it would lead to the overthrow of the government.
The United States spent nearly $500 million to train and equip Syrian militants. The half a million dollar program was intended to train over 5,000 rebels, however in the end there were only about 100 US-trained fighters. Ouch, pretty bad, eh?
But here comes the best part: only a few weeks after these fighters were deployed and sent to fight ISIL, a top US general admitted that less than 10 rebels were still fighting, while the rest were killed, had deserted and were nowhere to be found in the vast Syrian Desert. In other words, the program was a total embarrassment for the Obama Administration.
There were mistakes committed on both sides. Wrong decisions were made when choosing the leadership and the troops that were trained,” said Ammar Al Wawi, a former Syrian Army officer who joined the US-trained forces, as cited by NBC News.
One of the reasons why the project failed, according to Al Wawi was that the United States was stingy with their money, paying their rebels only $200 a month, wages that paled in comparison with what ISIL paid their fighters.
“ISIS pays $500, up to a $1,000 dollars, for each fighter and $5,000 dollars for their leaders,” Al Wawi said.
Furthermore, one of the US-trained brigades handed a lot of their equipment to the al-Nusra Front, the al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria, in exchange for safe passage after they came under an attack from the terrorist group. But heck with the equipment itself, the worst part is that some of US-trained rebels now fight for the al-Nusra, the former Syrian Army officer said.