US troops to train Syrian rebels

US troops to train Syrian rebels
# 16 January 2015 20:35 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar have agreed to host training sites for an equip-train program of the Syrian opposition and approximately 400 U.S. trainers will take part in the program, a U.S. Defense Department official said on Friday, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

"The training is expected to begin in early spring," Elissa Smith told The Anadolu Agency, adding that the number of trainers could fluctuate based on "course load, course requirements and other variables."

In addition to the 400 trainers, enablers will be needed to support them, Smith said.

The effort to train Syrian opposition groups is part of the overall campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant militants who seized large swaths of Syria and Iraq.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey have agreed to help the Syrian opposition groups not only fight ISIL but also the Assad regime.

The U.S. is involved in a plan to train both moderate Syrian rebels and to train and assist Iraqi security forces in order to beat back the ISIL militants' rampage in both countries.

U.S. troops have been deployed into Iraq to train security forces there since early July.

There are more than 2,100 U.S. troops are in Iraq. U.S. President Barack Obama recently authorized the deployment of up to 3,000 additional troops to the country.