U.S. Trained Syran Rebels A Small Group Vs. ISIS

A top U.S. military commander for operations in the Middle East briefed the Senate Armed Service Committee on Wednesday that there are only four or five fighters left from the first group of 54 Syrian fighters that had been trained by the U.S. as part of a $500 million program.

What’s more, there are only 100-120 fighters in three more classes currently being trained, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Christine Wormuth told the senators. The U.S. military is conducting a broad review of the training program.

Meanwhile, General Lloyd Austin, who leads the U.S. military’s Central Command who has their headquarters in Tampa at MacDill Air Force Base, said he expected the numbers of U.S.-trained Syrian rebels to grow over time. But he acknowledged the program was behind schedule and the military’s initial training targets would not be met.

The revelation sheds light on numbers that the Pentagon and U.S. Central Command have refused to provide the media for weeks, citing operational security.


Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.