Obama Appears Ready to Expand Covert Assistance to Syrian Opposition

(Washington Post) David Ignatius - The Obama administration, stung by reversals in Ukraine and Syria, appears to have decided to expand its covert program of training and assistance for the Syrian opposition, deepening U.S. involvement in that brutal and stalemated civil war. The enhanced aid program would have a counterterrorism focus. The U.S. would help train Free Syrian Army fighters to combat al-Qaeda extremists, even as the rebels launch guerrilla attacks against Assad's army. Syrian opposition forces would be trained in camps in Jordan, northern Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The number of Syrian opposition fighters receiving training would roughly double, to about 600 per month. Saudi Arabia has agreed to exclude any fighters who have worked with three jihadist groups: Ahrar al-Sham, Jabhat al-Nusra, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

2014-03-28 00:00:00

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