Date
24 November 2017
Moderate Syrian rebels will be equipped to summon US B-1 bombers for airstrikes. Photo: WSJ
Moderate Syrian rebels will be equipped to summon US B-1 bombers for airstrikes. Photo: WSJ

US to let some Syrian rebels call airstrikes

The United States has decided to provide pickup trucks equipped with machine guns and radios for calling in US airstrikes to some moderate Syrian rebels, The Wall Street Journal reported.

It is seeking to replicate the success that Kurdish forces, aided by US B-1 bombers, achieved over Islamic State last month.

The US is preparing to start training moderate rebels, who are waging a fight on two fronts against extremist rebels and forces of the Syrian regime.

Defense officials said American trainers will be in place March 1 in Jordan, with a second site due to open soon afterward in Turkey, the newspaper said.

The first training sessions are to last between six and eight weeks. The training will focus on helping the rebel forces hold territory and counter Islamic State fighters — not to take on the Syrian army.

A team of four to six rebels will each be given a Toyota Hi-Lux pickup, outfitted with a machine gun, communications gear and global positioning system trackers enabling them to call in airstrikes.

In the Syrian city of Kobani, near the Turkish border, Kurdish forces called in targets for US B-1 bombers, helping them wrest control from Islamic State forces in late January.

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

RA/FL

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe