US to abandon training new Syria rebels
Radio New Zealand
October 9, 2015 6:04 pm
The US is to end its efforts to train new Syrian rebel forces and says it will shift to providing equipment and weapons to existing forces.
Its $USD500m programme was heavily criticised after it emerged that US-trained rebels had handed vehicles and ammunition over to extremists.
It emerged last month that only four or five of the fighters were in Syria.
The programme had aimed to train and equip 5,400 fighters this year and a further 15,000 in 2016.
A senior administration official said the programme was being put on “pause”.
The programme had suffered from “significant challenges”, the official said, adding: “We had a very high bar in terms of recruiting”.