Pentagon: U.S. to Begin to Train and Equip Moderate Syria Terrorists!

(PER CNN)  – The U.S. military will deploy 400 trainers and hundreds more troops in a train-and-equip mission for Syrian rebel forces, the Pentagon said Friday.

The American troops will be deployed starting in early spring on six- to eight-week missions in three countries — Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia — as part of the Obama administration’s plan to expand training for moderate Syrian terrorists.

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Those groups are battling forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and extremist groups such as ISIS, as well as others linked to al Qaeda.

SEE RELATED:  Al Qaeda: The Database

The mission would be led by the military and complement a modest CIA training program, based on what was authorized by the White House more than a year ago.

“Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar have agreed to host training sites, and we anticipate the program to train and equip the moderate Syrian opposition will take approximately 400 U.S. trainers, with the caveat that this number could fluctuate based on course load, course requirements and other variables,” said Cmdr. Elissa Smith, a Pentagon spokeswoman.

“We also anticipate that the trainers will have enablers. We expect to begin training in early spring.”

The trainers focused on Syria will join up to 3,000 American troops that were authorized by President Barack Obama last year to act as anti-ISIS fighters in Iraq, which shares a border with Syria.

American involvement in the battle against ISIS has been more robust in Iraq, where the government has requested assistance. American planes have conducted numerous bombing missions in both countries.

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