The US-backed “moderate” militants fighting in Syria are an ineffective fighting force aligned with extremist terrorist groups like Daesh (ISIL) and al-Qaeda, an investigative journalist in Florida says.
“There is no real program to train and equip the moderate Syrian guerrillas because there are no moderate Syrian guerrillas,” said Wayne Madsen, who is also an author and columnist specializing in intelligence and international affairs.
“This is a paper army, the toy soldier army,” Madsen said during a phone interview with Press TV on Monday. “There is no free Syrian moderates, that’s a pipe dream, it’s a fantasy.”
“The real people who are supported by the United States are ISIL and the al-Qaeda groups, including the Khorasan group and al-Nusra Front and other mercenaries who have traveled to Syria,” he added.
The Khorasan Group is a US-invented term for an al-Qaeda affiliate terror group within al-Nusra Front or Jabhat al-Nusra.
Madsen said terrorists are traveling to Syria with the support of NATO countries like Turkey and France as well as the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Sunday the Pentagon's program to train and equip “moderate” militants to fight inside Syria has failed.
In an interview with CBS News, the frontrunner Democratic presidential candidate attempted to distance herself from the Obama administration’s policy in Syria, suggesting the overall US effort in the Arab country has been a “failure”.
On Wednesday, the chief of the US military campaign in Iraq and Syria acknowledged that the Pentagon program to “train and equip” militants in Syria has yielded only "four or five" fighters.
Reports say many of those trained by the Pentagon have been killed, captured, or defected to other militant groups fighting against the Syrian army, including ISIL or the al-Nusra Front.
Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011. More than 230,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the violence mainly fueled by the foreign-sponsored militants.
The United States and its regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey - have been supporting the militants operating inside Syria since the beginning of the crisis.