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British Forces to Train Armed Terrorist Groups Operating in Syria

25 October 2016 16:38

Members of al Qaeda's Nusra Front carry their weapons as they walk near al-Zahra village, north of Aleppo city, November 25, 2014. Members of al Qaeda's Nusra Front and other Sunni Islamists seized an area south of the Shi'ite Muslim village in north Syria on Sunday after clashes with pro-government fighters, opposition activists said. The insurgents advanced overnight on al-Zahra, north of Aleppo city, seizing territory to the south and also trying to take land to the east in an attempt to capture the village, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.  Picture taken November 25, 2014. REUTERS/Hosam Katan    (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT)

British troops are to train opposition gunmen in Syria in a move which comes at a time of intense international rivalry for influence in the global war on Syria in light of strategic dominance in the offensive on Raqqa, Kim Sengupta, security and defense analyst wrote in The Independent Tuesday.

Sengupta stated that Sir Michael Fallon, the UK defence secretary, will announce the dispatching of the trainers at the start of a security conference in Paris on combating Isis on Tuesday.

“Around 20 military personnel, drawn from a number of units, will be sent initially, but the numbers are expected to be increased in the  future,” he said.

Sengupta added that the new British team, citing defence sources, is likely to be based in al-Quweira in south-west Jordan, in camps which were built last year.

He noted that the units will be working with the New Syrian Army (NSA) which has been formed out of defectors from the national armed forces and was subsequently broke with an allied group, the Authenticity and Development Front, which receives funding from Saudi Arabia.

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