Train and Equip Program
July, 2015 Debut in Combat
- Commander of U.S.-backed rebels captured by al-Qaeda militants in Syria Washington Post, July 30, 2015
- Syrian rebels: Turkey tipped al Qaida group to U.S.-trained fighters - August 24, 2015
September, Second Try
- 75 US-trained rebels enter Syria from Turkey - AFP, Sep. 20, 2015
- US-trained Division 30 rebels 'betrayed US and hand weapons over to al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria' - Nabih Bulos, The Telegraph, 22 Sep 2015
- A statement on Twitter by a man calling himself Abu Fahd al-Tunisi, a member of al-Qaeda’s local affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, read: "A strong slap for America... the new group from Division 30 that entered yesterday hands over all of its weapons to Jabhat al-Nusra after being granted safe passage. ...
- Abu Khattab al-Maqdisi, who also purports to be a Jabhat al-Nusra member, added that Division 30's commander, Anas Ibrahim Obaid,had explained to Jabhat al-Nusra's leaders that he had tricked the coalition because he needed weapons.
- "He promised to issue a statement... repudiating Division 30, the coalition, and those who trained him," he tweeted. "And he also gave a large amount of weapons to Jabhat al-Nusra."
- Did a U.S.-Trained Syrian Rebel Commander Defect to al Qaeda? - Weis, Daily Beast, September 22
- Division 30 has formally acknowledged that it lost contact with Major Anas Obaid (a.k.a. Abu Zayd)...
- Abu Zayd does appear to have gone rogue, and he claims all his men have, too. “In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful, we, the grouping of revolutionaries of Atareb and its countryside, announce that we are outside Division 30 Infantry and we are an independent faction working on the Syrian lands in isolation from coordination with the international coalition,” he posted to his personal Facebook page on Tuesday
- US-backed leader of Syrian rebel group quits and lists 6 problems with the training program - Business Insider, September 21
- 3. The lack of seriousness in the implementation of the project to establish the 30th brigade
- DoD Confirms US-Trained Fighters in Syria Gave Arms to Nusra Front Militants - Sputnik, 26.09.2015
- Obama Administration Ends Pentagon Program to Train Syrian Rebels - Helene Cooper, The New York Times, October 9, 2015
- The move served as an acknowledgement that the beleaguered program had failed to produce any kind of ground combat forces capable of taking on the Islamic State.
- Obama Administration Ends Program To Train And Equip Syrian Rebels - Buzzfeed, October 9, 2015
- What really happened to the U.S. train-and-equip program in Syria? - McClatchy, December 21, 2015
- The program’s demise has been ascribed to a number of factors, including the participants, the Turkish intelligence agency MIT and a Syrian militia, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, better known as the YPG.
- But a McClatchy investigation shows that the primary factor may well have been the United States itself, which conceived of a program that didn’t have the support of the people it was intended to train and was viewed with deep skepticism by its key training partner, Turkey.
- Meet The Obscure Company Behind America’s Syria Fiasco - Aram Roston, BuzzFeed, Sept. 17, 2015
- The United States government is one of the biggest buyers of AK-47s and other Russian-designed weapons, pouring them into Iraq, Afghanistan, and other war-torn countries. The U.S. provides foreign weapons to groups it trains because fighters sometimes prefer them, because they can conceal U.S. links to an operation, and because they are inexpensive.
- The Death Of A US Contractor Has Exposed America’s Failures In Syria - Aram Roston, BuzzFeed News, March 29, 2017
- Despite that ruling, SOCOM has refused any responsibility, maintaining that it had not commissioned training on the type of weapon that exploded. SOCOM spokesperson McGraw said in an email to BuzzFeed News that “neither the weapon that killed Mr. Norwillo nor training for that weapon were part of the USSOCOM contract. When Mr. Norwillo was unfortunately killed, the activities in which he was involved were not part of or related to a USSOCOM contract.”