US, UK and France training Syrian rebels in Jordan – reports

9d32americans train syrian rebels US, UK and France training Syrian rebels in Jordan   reports

In the past three months some 200 men have already receivedtraining in two camps in the east and the south of Jordan, DerSpiegel reports. The military training focuses on the use ofanti-tank weaponry, the news magazine reported, citing what it saidwere participants and organizers. It adds that there are plans toprovide training for a total of 1,200 fighters from the Free SyrianArmy – the opposition force battling the regime of President BasharAssad.The report said that some of the Americans wore army uniforms,but it did not specify whether they worked for private firms orrepresented the US military.Last October the Pentagonconfirmed that a small group of US special forces and militaryadvisers had spent the summer in Jordan training the country’smilitary to act in case Syria used its chemical weapons.Reportedly, select groups of Syrian rebels were trained, too.As Britain’s The Guardian reported on Friday, the US is not alone in theirefforts. UK and French instructors are also in Jordan training theSyria rebels.Though the American, British and French Defense Ministries havenot commented so far on the information about the FSA being trainedin Jordan, this move does not contradict either the US plansfor non-lethal directaid to Syrian opposition or British understanding of the EUarms embargo enforced on Syria.”Such technical assistance can include assistance, advice andtraining on how to maintain security in areas no longer controlledby the regime, on co-ordination between civilian and militarycouncils, on how to protect civilians and minimize the risks tothem, and how to maintain security during a transition,” the UKForeign Minister William Hague told the British Parliament lastWednesday.Der Spiegel’s source in Brussels shared that the EU embargo onarms supplies to Syria adopted in early March is “deliberatelyhazy.””When it comes to technical assistance, what it means inpractice depends on who you ask. The Brits and the French, forexample, are much more forward-leaning than others. The principleis that the assistance should be for the protection of civilians,but as we saw in Libya, that can be interpreted in differentways,” the source said.In Libya the Western interference in the country’s affairsstarted with establishing a no-fly zone, ostensibly to protect thecivilian population in a civil war, and ended with an alliedmilitary force helping the Libyan rebels storm the capital Tripolito oust the country’s strongman Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. The leaderfinally was brutally murdered by militia without legitimatecriminal investigations and court decisions.Today Libya exists as a territory with nominal central authorityand uncontrollable violence regularly sparking between groups ofarmed rebels and local Bedouins.Jordanian intelligence is also taking part in training theSyrian rebels, busy filtering off radical Islamists (Salafists)from the candidates for advanced foreign training. The foreigninstructors particularly prefer to choose former officers who havedefected from the Syrian regular troops.”The Americans now trust us more than the Turks, because withthe Turks everything is about gaining leverage for action againstthe Kurds,” a Jordanian insider in Amman explained to TheGuardian.Reportedly, the Americans are disappointed with the results ofhelp being channeled to the Syrian opposition groups throughTurkey, as Ankara has either failed or deliberately allowed theIslamist extremists to prevail the rebel activities in the northernSyrian front.Other known sponsors of the rebels, Saudi Arabia andBahrain, are also channeling their help to the Syrianopposition via Jordan.In late February Secretary of State John Kerry announced thatthe US will provide the Syrian opposition with US$60 million inaid, including armored vehicles, non-lethal military equipment, andtechnical aid.The Guardian reported that a small number of British specialforces have already been stationed in Jordan beforehand so thatonce the West takes the decision to intervene in Syria directlythey could act immediately. While they await the deployment order,they are busy training the rebels the modern warfare tactics.The newspaper’s Jordanian source insists the training operationunderway is of rather a moderate scale.Yet Der Spiegel reports that the program is aimed at training upto 10,000 FSA fighters to form around a dozen combat-effectiveunits. The Guardian earlier said that this force will be needed torestore order in Syria once President Bashar Assad is gone.Though The Guardian insists the anti-Assad allies are likely tobe training a police task force to maintain order in post-war Syriarather than to turn the war around, the training with anti-tankweaponry does not exactly fit into that picture.At the same time an anonymous Jordanian official has expressedhope that this force might also give a hand to Jordan if thesituation with the Syrian refugees deteriorates completely andhundreds of thousands of additional refugees flow into thecountry. This can easily happen if the public services of the Syria’ssouthern city of Daraa collapse. In that case a possible 1 millionrefugees might seek shelter in Jordan.Reportedly, Jordan has already accommodated over 320,000refugees from Syria. Since the beginning of conflict in Syria over two years ago nowup to 70,000 people have been killed on both sides, reported Syrianactivists. Over 1 million people have become refugees, fleeing thecountry to neighboring states.

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US, UK and France training Syrian rebels in Jordan – reports

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