US general wants to revive Syria training, on smaller scale

March 8, 2016 17:54

WASHINGTON- A top US general on Tuesday said he is asking for permission to resurrect a US effort to train Syrian opposition fighters to battle Islamic State, but on a smaller scale than the previous, failed program that was scrapped last year.

"I've asked for permission to restart the effort using a different approach," General Lloyd Austin, the head of Central Command which oversees US forces in the Middle East, told a Senate hearing.

Austin said unlike the previous effort, which sought to recruit and train entire units of fighters to redeploy into Syria, the new push would focus on shorter-term training of smaller groups.

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