Paper: US Has Secretly Trained Syrian Rebels Since Late 2012

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that "CIA operatives and U.S. special operations troops have been secretly training Syrian rebels with anti-tank and antiaircraft weaponry since late [November 2012]."

The training allegedly takes place at bases in Jordan and Turkey and lasts for two weeks at a time. 

While the paper provides no figures on how many rebels have been trained in Turkey, the Times reports that training in Jordan "involves 20 to 45 insurgents at a time." An anonymous rebel commander said, "so far, about 100 rebels from Dara have attended four courses, and rebels from Damascus... have attended three."

Those who attend allegedly receive "training with Russian-designed 14.5 millimeter anti-tank rifles, anti-tank missiles, and 23 millimeter anti-aircraft weapons."

The rebel commander said the CIA uses downtime during the training sessions to talk to rebels and gather information about battlefield developments, etc. 

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.


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