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Obama Stops $500 Million Program To Train Syrian Rebels

October 09, 2015

It’s only been about a week since Russia began bombing U.S. trained rebels and already there is a shift in policy as President Obama has decided to halt the program he implemented to train Syrian rebels to fight ISIS.


The administration has said the remaining funds will go to lethal support to those already in the battle. One of the excuses for the program’s failure was the people’s will to fight Assad superseded ISIS.

The program took Syrian rebels out of Syria, trained them and sent them back with new skills.

A top advisor to President Obama on ISIS, Brett McGurk said:

“We need to be flexible. We need to be adaptive. Is it best to take those guys out and put them through training, or to keep them on the line fighting and give them equipment and support?”


From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — After struggling for years to identify groups in Syria that it can confidently support, the Obama administration on Friday abandoned its effort to build a rebel force inside Syria to combat the Islamic State. It acknowledged the failure of its $500 million campaign to train thousands of fighters and said whatever money remained would be used to provide lethal aid for groups already engaged in the battle.

Senior officials at the White House and the Pentagon said the strategy to pull fighters out of Syria, teach them advanced skills and return them to face the Islamic State had failed, in part because many of the rebel groups were more focused on fighting the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.

Read more at the New York Times

Is this a sign of Obama backing down to Putin? Let us know in the comments!