CIA ramps up training of 'moderate' rebels to stalemate Syria


100% recycled karma
The CIA is expanding a clandestine effort to train opposition fighters in Syria amid concern that moderate, U.S.-backed militias are rapidly losing ground in the country’s civil war, U.S. officials said.

But the CIA program is so minuscule that it is expected to produce only a few hundred trained fighters each month even after it is enlarged, a level that officials said will do little to bolster rebel forces that are being eclipsed by radical Islamists in the fight against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The CIA’s mission, officials said, has been defined by the White House’s desire to seek a political settlement, a scenario that relies on an eventual stalemate among the warring factions rather than a clear victor. As a result, officials said, limits on the agency’s authorities enable it to provide enough support to help ensure that politically moderate, U.S.-supported militias don’t lose but not enough for them to win.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said the agency has sent additional paramilitary teams to secret bases in Jordan in recent weeks in a push to double the number of rebel fighters getting CIA instruction and weapons before being sent back to Syria.

The agency has trained fewer than 1,000 rebel fighters this year, current and former U.S. officials said. By contrast, U.S. intelligence analysts estimate that more than 20,000 have been trained to fight for government-backed militias by Assad’s ally Iran and the Hezbollah militant network it sponsors.

The CIA effort was described as an urgent bid to bolster moderate Syrian militias, which have been unable to mount a serious challenge to Assad or match the growing strength of rival rebel factions that have hard-line Islamist agendas and, in some cases, ties to the al-Qaeda terrorist network.

The CIA is “ramping up and expanding its effort,” said a U.S. official familiar with operations in Syria, because “it was clear that the opposition was losing, and not only losing tactically but on a more strategic level.”

The CIA declined to comment.

The latest setback came last month, when 11 of the largest armed factions in Syria, including some backed by the United States, announced the formation of an alliance with a goal of creating an Islamic state. The alliance is led by Jabhat al-Nusra, a group that has sworn allegiance to the al-Qaeda leadership in Pakistan.

Operating under constraints

The descriptions of the CIA training program provide the most detailed account to date of the limited dimensions and daunting objectives of a CIA operation that President Obama secretly authorized in a covert action finding he signed this year.

U.S. officials said the classified program has been constrained by limits on CIA resources, the reluctance of rebel fighters to leave Syria for U.S. instruction and Jordan’s restrictions on the CIA’s paramilitary presence there.

But the limited scope also reflects a deeper tension in the Obama administration’s strategy on Syria, one that has sought to advance U.S. interests but avoid being drawn more deeply into a conflict that the United Nations estimates has killed more than 100,000 people since it began in 2011.

(much more interventionist nonsensical meddling @ link)
the thing is, a stalemate is desirable since this isn't going to have a happy ending, but having the US impremater on any outcome is leftover hash.

Let the Islamists prevail, let the moderates prevail, best of all let Assad prevail into the staus quo - but training up and arming ANYONE in this mess
is a receipe for disaster -weapons, and fighters change hands - especially the moderates shifting to the Islamists.

I mean once allahu akbar is what you live (and die ) for; it's kinna hard to go back to a secular mindset.
UN Security Council urges humanitarian access to Syria
The UN Security Council has expressed alarm at the "rapid deterioration" of the humanitarian situation in Syria and demanded immediate access for aid

The clashes, between militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA), have erupted since ISIS forced FSA rivals out of Azaz last month.

The discord - driven by claims over territory and resources as well as ideological differences - adds a new layer of complexity to the conflict which has killed over 100,000 people in two years.

Children's plight

More than two million Syrians have fled the conflict in their country, and many more have been displaced internally.

The statement agreed by the Security Council on Wednesday highlights those displaced and trapped by the "unacceptable and escalating level of violence" in Syria.

The nearly six million of internally displaced, "nearly half of whom are children, are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance" without which "their lives will be at risk".

what we should be concerned with instead of arming and training factions, by the CIA