Pentagon Recruits 60 “Moderate” Syrian Rebels, Pays $9 Million to Train Each One

Virtually all rebels in Syria have sworn allegiance to ISIS

In-depth Report:

Obama, the Pentagon and Congress continue to foist the moderate Syrian rebel scam on the American people.

Last year the Pentagon went before a congressional hearing and said it would need $500 million to train moderate Syrian rebels fighting to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad. The money would go to 2,300 rebels who were supposedly vetted and not connected to al-Qaeda, al-Nusra or ISIS.

In fact, as has reported on numerous occasions, virtually all of the rebels in Syria have sworn allegiance to ISIS and other jihadist groups.

“The Free Syrian Army and the Syrian National Council, the vaunted bulwarks of the moderate opposition, only really exist in hotel lobbies and the minds of Western diplomats,” writes Ben Reynolds. “There is simply no real separation between ‘moderate’ rebel groups and hardline Salafists allied with al-Qaeda.”

On Tuesday, it was reported that despite the influx of money and the commitment to overthrow the al-Assad government in Damascus, the United States found only 60 Syrian opposition fighters not aligned with the jihadists.

Doing the math, the $500 million set aside for the effort translates to around $9 million for each rebel.

In June, Pentagon spokeswoman Elissa Smith said roughly 6,000 Syrians expressed interest in the program.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter made the admission during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Despite the dismal number, Carter said the United States will continue the effort.

“We are looking for ways to streamline our train and equip program’s vetting process to get more recruits into the training pipeline,” he said.

“We are also refining our curriculum, expanding our outreach to the moderate opposition, and incorporating lessons learned from the first training class.”

Carter admitted 60 recruits “is a small class” and said he expects the numbers to increase. “This is the number that got through a very vigorous vetting and selection process that we have. … We expect that number to improve.”

The chairman of the committee, Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, voiced his displeasure. McCain has led the effort to train mercenaries and overthrow al-Assad.

“I got to tell you that after four years, Mr. Secretary, that is not an impressive number,” McCain said.

Carter and McCain did not mention a declassified secret US government document obtained by Judicial Watch in May that shows Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda.

“The document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, and that these ‘supporting powers’ desired the emergence of a ‘Salafist Principality’ in Syria to ‘isolate the Syrian regime,’” writes Nafeez Ahmed.

The “Salafist Principality” currently in Syria and Iraq is ISIS.

According to the newly declassified US document, the Pentagon foresaw the likely rise of the ‘Islamic State’ as a direct consequence of this strategy, and warned that it could destabilize Iraq. Despite anticipating that Western, Gulf state and Turkish support for the “Syrian opposition” — which included al-Qaeda in Iraq — could lead to the emergence of an ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the document provides no indication of any decision to reverse the policy of support to the Syrian rebels. On the contrary, the emergence of an al-Qaeda affiliated “Salafist Principality” as a result is described as a strategic opportunity to isolate Assad.

The United States not only foresaw the rise of ISIS, but trained jihadists for this eventuality.

In June of last year Jordanian officials admitted the Pentagon had trained ISIS members.

WND reported in February the U.S., Turkey and Jordan operated a training base for the Syrian rebels in the Jordanian town of Safawi in the country’s northern desert region.

Articles by: Kurt Nimmo

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Centre of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post Global Research articles on community internet sites as long the source and copyright are acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original Global Research article. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected] contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]