After the US’ Syrian rebel training program failed and produced only a few dozen fighters instead of the original 15,000 planned, the US is now dismissing US Maj. Gen. Michael K. Nagata who was responsible for the implementation of the program, media reported.
As part of a military training program, Nagata was responsible for training Syrian rebels over a period of three years, after which they were expected to fight against ISIL.
In 2014, the United States allocated $500 million to train and provide 5,400 “moderate Syrian fighters” with military equipment by the end of 2015.
However, despite high expectations, the program has not had much success. As a result, less than 60 fighters received the planned training, with only four or five of them now engaged on the battlefield. Many of the fighters were either killed, reported missing or captured by Islamist radical organizations.
After the failure of the plan, Nagata is expected to be appointed to a senior position in a counterterrorism unit. However, it is not clear whether this move would help, as the US does not seem to have learned its lesson and wants to continue supplying the Syrian rebels with ammunition and weapons.
The problem is that the military equipment and vehicles often end up in the hands of al-Qaeda or ISIL. Moreover, some of the fighters viewed by the US as so-called “moderate rebels” are members of the al-Nusra Front, a local branch of the terrorist group, al-Qaeda.