Obama administration ends Pentagon program to train Syrian rebels

The New York Times reports: The Obama administration has ended the Pentagon’s $500 million program to train and equip Syrian rebels, administration officials said on Friday, in an acknowledgment that the beleaguered effort had failed to produce any kind of ground combat forces capable of taking on the Islamic State in Syria.

Pentagon officials announced the end of the program on Friday, as Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter left London after meetings with his British counterpart, Michael Fallon, about the continuing wars in Syria and Iraq.

The closing of the program comes as the administration’s attention is shifting to northwestern Syria, where it hopes to assemble a group of Sunni tribes in a “Syrian Arab Coalition” to fight alongside Syrian Kurdish forces against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. [Continue reading…]

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