US begins training of Syrian rebels to fight Islamist militant group

The US defence secretary, Ashton Carter said about 90 people were being trained in a secure location, and they would be paid by the United States.

The United States has commenced the training of Syrian rebels who will then go on to battle Islamist militant group, ISIS.

According to BBC, the US  defence secretary, Ashton Carter  said about 90 people were being trained in a secure location, and they would be paid by the United States.

He further said more fighters would begin training soon at sites in Jordan, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

After an extensive screening process, only 400 of the over 4,000 fighters who volunteered for the programme were selected.

Carter who further explained that those chosen were carefully vetted said that he expected the programme to be successful and then grow,  further pointing out that the role of the force would be to take on the Islamic State and not the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

However, he did not say what would happen if the rebels engaged the Syrian army.

There are about 450 coalition forces involved in the training at the four sites, including about 350 Americans.

The Pentagon intends to train and arm more than 15,000 rebels over the next 3 years.

Carter however said the continuation of support of the programme would be dependent on good behaviour on the part of the trainees and compliance with international laws.

The US has been part of an international coalition conducting an air strike campaign against ISIS since last year.


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