Sunday Apr 07, 201301:18 PM GMT
US, Jordan expand training of Syria militants: Report
Foreign-backed militants train near Aleppo, northwestern Syria. (File photo)
Foreign-backed militants train near Aleppo, northwestern Syria. (File photo)
The United States and Jordan have increased the training of militants fighting against the Syrian government in an effort to establish a buffer zone along the southern border of Syria, a report says.


The Washington Post said on Wednesday that the training of some 3,000 militants from the terrorist Free Syrian Army, which began in 2012, had been “expanded and accelerated.”

The Post quoted Jordanian security officials as saying that the training was scheduled to be completed by the end of June, but it had been moved up to the end of April.

The establishment of the buffer zone is aimed at converting areas under the control of militants into a permanent haven for the armed groups, the report said.

US and Jordanian officials said the creation of the buffer zone had not yet started as Washington and other international backers of the militants refused to provide air cover for militant outposts.

Washington sent 150 military personnel to Jordan in 2012 to begin the training of militants.

Many people, including a large number of Syrian security forces, have been killed in the turmoil that has gripped Syria since March 2011.

The New York Times said in a recent report that the CIA spy agency had played a major role in locating weapons sources and coordinating huge arms shipments to the militants in Syria through the governments of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Jordan.

With help from the CIA, Arab governments and Turkey have sharply increased their military aid to the militants in recent months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment, according to air traffic data, interviews with officials in several countries and the accounts of militant commanders, the Times stated.

The US daily added that the airlifts began on a small scale a year ago but expanded steadily to more than 160 military cargo flights by Jordanian, Saudi and Qatari planes landing at Turkish and Jordanian airports.

SAB/HSN
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