The UK Defense Ministry is once again going to train fighters of the Syrian ‘moderate’ opposition despite a bad experience of training the opposition in the past, resulted in a transfer of received skills and weapons to Syrian terrorist groups, including Islamic State (IS).
A suspended program of training fighters of the so-called ‘moderate’ opposition in Syria will be resumed by the UK Defense Ministry, British media reported. According to media, the decision was announced by UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon on Tuesday. Reportedly, about 20 UK military trainers will be deployed in Syria or in neighboring territories “to provide vetted members of the moderate Syrian opposition with the skills they need to continue to take the fight to Islamic State.”
“All volunteers from the moderate opposition will be subject to strict vetting procedures and will receive training in international humanitarian law. Trainees will be security and medically screened prior to the start of training and will be assessed during and monitored after training,” Fallon said.
According to the text of the upcoming announcement, battlefield medicine, basic infantry drills, skills to avoid booby-traps and mines will be included in the forthcoming training.
In 2015, after it became known that the most part of fighters, trained by western instructors in Turkey, have been killed by terrorists of the Islamic State (IS) or the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (previously known as the Al-Nusra Front) groups or have surrendered with all of their US-supplied weapons and communications gear, the program was put on hold.
US President Barack Obama shut down the training program for Syrian moderate-opposition, for which, reportedly, $500 million was spent, after it was revealed that the program has produced just a handful of soldiers, instead of planned 15,000 skilled fighters. The fact that US commanders struggled to find militants, who would agree to fight only against the IS terrorists, but not against Syrian soldiers, was acknowledged by US military.
Meanwhile, the UK Defense Ministry still denies the fact that moderate-opposition’s rebels are extremists, as well as the fact that the fighting skills and the weapons will be transferred to the IS and other terrorist groups in future.
According to the Telegraph daily newspaper, as of today, Kurdish and Iraqi forces are being trained by some 500 British military advisers in Iraq in order to be supported in the ongoing assault on Mosul.