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Obama Administration Will End $500 Million Syrian Rebel Training Program

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Defense officials say the Obama administration will end the program to train and equip Syrian rebels in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).

The New York Times, citing anonymous sources, reports that the program, which cost $500 million, has not been found to be effective in combating the terrorist group. Training in Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will cease, and a smaller operation in Turkey will instead focus on teaching maneuvers to already-existing groups that oppose Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. Training could include learning how to call in airstrikes.

The Pentagon is expected to make the announcement on Friday as Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s visit to Michael Fallon, his counterpart in the U.K., comes to an end. Carter said in an earlier news conference with Fallon that he “wasn’t happy with the early efforts” of the program and that new approaches would soon be announced.


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