An American plan to create a 15,000 strong army of Syrian “moderates” to oppose both President Assad and the Islamic State (ISIS) means a “battalion” sized force of British troops will deploy to the Kingdom of Jordan to train Syrian rebels in the latest techniques in the hope they will fight to establish a new democratic Syrian state.
The plan appears to circumvent the present block on British action in Syria by joining ongoing training efforts already taking place in the West-Asian Kingdom. The United Kingdom already has a good relationship with the Jordanian military, loaning the Kingdom Army officers for training and development, and the Army has visited the nation for training exercises in the recent past.
Efforts to train the Syrian “moderates” in Jordan has been ongoing for almost two years, but until this time British troops have not been directly involved, instead taking a more covert role in supporting intelligence operations. The Times reports the training force will be battalion sized, which an Army source tells Breitbart News will mean roughly 650 troops will be deployed to the Kingdom immediately.
In addition to direct military training being given in Jordan, it has also been revealed that British civilian contractors will visit Iraq’s Kurdish north to provide specialist training. One such group from Explosive Risk Management will be flown to train 18 Peshmerga in countering improvised explosive devices and roadside bombs at a cost of £230,000 to the British taxpayer.
This will not be the first time British officers have provided leadership to a rebel army in the region against a Caliphate. Captain T.E. Lawrence led a force of Arabs in Transjordan during the Great War against the Ottoman Empire, the last surviving Caliphate before the declaration by ISIS earlier this year. Although the gains were not properly consolidated after the war, the campaign he led was a success and Lawrence has been immortalised in print and film as Lawrence of Arabia since.