US trains Syria militants in Jordan: Report
The United States has been providing militants fighting against the Syrian government with military training on the sophisticated use of anti-aircraft weapons in Jordan, a report says.
US-based National Public Radio (NPR) reported on Wednesday that “Jordanian authorities, along with their US and British counterparts” had organized training for the militants.
One of the militants, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he attended a training course in Jordan and that the training was “not led by uniformed Western soldiers, but rather by men in plainclothes who spoke several different dialects of Arabic.”
“This suggests the trainers may have been private contractors, who are sometimes used by the US for training and assembly of sophisticated weaponry,” the report said.
Another militant said that members of the Jordanian military attended the training sessions.
On December 11, US President Barack Obama said Washington would recognize the so-called National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces as the “legitimate representative of Syrian people.”
The US administration had earlier decided to provide military assistance, including logistical support and sophisticated weapons, to the militants in Syria.
According to the NPR report, an unnamed source said uniformed US military officials regularly meet with militants to discuss military plans.
The source added that the current debate focuses on whether the militants in Syria should first capture the southern region of Dara’a, near the border with Jordan, before advancing toward the capital, Damascus, or they should only concentrate on fighting in Damascus.
“They [Americans] want us to have structures. It’s all about structures,” the source stated.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the violence.
Damascus says some Western states, especially the US, and their regional allies including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey are trying to fuel the turmoil.