Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


US to deploy 400 troops to train Syrian rebels

16 January 2015, 10:07

Washington - The US military is planning to deploy more than 400 troops to help train Syrian rebels to fight ISIS, along with hundreds of US support personnel, a Pentagon spokesperson told Reuters on Thursday.

The US military has not yet identified where it will draw its forces from for the training mission, expected to begin in the spring at sites outside Syria, colonel Steve Warren said. Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have offered to host the training.

Warren did not offer additional details on the troop figures, first reported by Defence One website.

The training programme is a part of President Barack Obama's multi-year plan to field local forces in Syria to halt and eventually roll back ISIS fighters, while pounding them with US-led airstrikes.

The Pentagon has estimated that it can train more than 5 000 recruits in the first year and that up to 15 000 will be needed to retake areas of eastern Syria controlled by ISIS.

Also Read: France sends aircraft carrier to help US fight ISIS
Critics in Congress have said the Pentagon program won't aid Syrian opposition forces fast enough, however, and question whether it is too small to influence the course of Syria's multi-pronged civil war between President Bashar Assad and his opponents.

Across the border in Iraq, Obama has authorized more than 3 000 US troops to advise and train Iraqi and Kurdish forces.

The disclosure of the planned troop deployments for the Syria training mission came just days after senior US officials met Syrian opposition and civil society leaders in Istanbul to discuss the programme.

US major general Michael Nagata, combined joint interagency task force - Syria Director, and US special envoy for Syria Daniel Rubinstein led the meeting on the US side.

"These introductory meetings were an important step as we prepare to launch the train-and-equip program later this spring with our international partners," said Pentagon spokesperson commander Elissa Smith.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...