US identifies 1,200 potential fighters for Syria training

By REUTERS
February 19, 2015 04:03

WASHINGTON - The United States has so far identified about 1,200 Syrian opposition fighters for potential participation in a US military-led program to help train and equip them to battle the Islamic State, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

The fighters will undergo vetting for the program, which is expected to begin in March at multiple sites outside of Syria and train more than 5,000 Syrian fighters a year. Some 3,000 could be trained by the end of 2015, a US official said.

The program is expected to vet fighters using both US government databases as well as intelligence from regional partners.

Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have publicly offered to host the training and Jordan has privately offered to do so. One US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said training is likely to start in Jordan.


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