Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Syrian rebels describe U.S.-backed training in Qatar

WASHINGTON — With reports indicating that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad are gaining ground in that country's civil war, moderate Syrian rebels have told a visiting journalist that the United States is arranging their training in Qatar.

In a documentary to be aired tonight, the rebels describe their clandestine journey from the Syrian battlefield to meet with their American handlers in Turkey and then travel on to Qatar, where they say they received training in the use of sophisticated weapons and fighting techniques, including, one rebel said, "how to finish off soldiers still alive after an ambush."

The interviews are the latest evidence that after more than three years of warfare, the United States has stepped up the provision of lethal aid to the rebels. In recent months, at least five rebel units have posted videos showing their members firing U.S.-made TOW antitank missiles at Syrian positions. The weapons are believed to have come from Saudi Arabia, but experts on international arms transfers have told McClatchy Newspapers that they could not have been given to the rebels without the approval of the Obama administration.

The documentary, produced by Frontline for airing on PBS stations, features journalist Muhammad Ali, who has been following the Syrian civil war for the program. It shows Ali meeting with a seemingly moderate faction of the rebels, though the faction itself is not identified — apparently for fear of angering its American contacts.

The United States has declined to confirm any growing efforts to help the fighters. Neither the Pentagon nor the CIA would comment on Frontline's findings.

Syrian rebels describe U.S.-backed training in Qatar 05/26/14 [Last modified: Monday, May 26, 2014 9:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa police arrest 22-year-old man in July murder

    Crime

    TAMPA — Police arrested Sunday a 22-year-old man who detectives said shot and killed a Tampa man after an argument.

    Tampa police arrested Dejonta Felder, 22, in the murder of 32-year-old Julius R. Carter. [Tampa Police Department]
  2. The rise and humiliating fall of Chris Cantwell, Charlottesville's star 'fascist'

    Nation

    The white supremacists, nationalists and far-right trolls who starred in last weekend's violent Charlottesville, Virginia, rallies have suffered no lack of humiliation in the days since.

    White nationalist Chris Cantwell has had quite the week after being featured prominently in an HBO news program on the march in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend. [Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post]
  3. MLB umpires wear wristbands to protest 'abusive player behavior'

    Ml

    Major League Baseball umpires wore white wristbands during games Saturday, protesting "abusive player behavior" after Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler was fined but not suspended for his recent verbal tirade against ump Angel Hernandez.

    Home plate umpire D.J. Rayburn wears a wristband to protest "abusive player behavior" on umpires by players as Rayburn heads to his position to call the first inning of a baseball game between the Milwaukee Brewers and and the Colorado Rockies late Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Denver. [Associated Press]
  4. Tropical Storm Harvey could regroup but stay clear of Florida

    Weather

    The remnants of former Tropical Storm Harvey could rebound while two other systems brewing in the Atlantic Ocean are unlikely to develop into severe weather.

    The remnants of former Tropical Storm Harvey could rebound while two other systems brewing in the Atlantic Ocean are unlikely to develop, according to the National Hurricane Center. [National Hurricane Center]