Only 60 Syrian Fighters Trained: US Military Falling Short of Goals
-- Defense Secretary Ash Carter made a shocking admission today about just how slowly the strategy against ISIS is unfolding, saying that the U.S. is currently training only 60 Syrian fighters to combat ISIS.
When the strategy to defeat ISIS inside Syria was announced last year the Pentagon said it aimed to train 5,000 moderate Syrian rebels per year over three years. No Syrian forces have yet to graduate from any training program.
Now 11 months later, that cadre of 60 trainees is “much smaller than we'd hoped for at this point,” Carter said during testimony in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is holding a hearing on the counter-ISIS strategy.
"We'd like to see more, and we're trying to get better at training them, because the number 60 is, as you all recognize, is not an impressive number." Carter blamed a difficult process of vetting viable candidates.
Last month Carter also spoke about falling short of goals to train the Iraqi military, saying of the 24,000 it had hoped to have training they’d only received enough recruits to train 7,000.