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US-trained rebels surrendered ammunition to al-Nusra, Centcom says

BEIRUT | iloubnan.info - September 26, 2015, 08h55
Photo from Centcom website: centcom.mil

U.S. Central Command was notified on Friday that a commander of a New Syrian Forces element operating in Syria surrendered some of his unit's Coalition-issued equipment to a suspected Al Nusra Front intermediary purportedly in exchange for safe passage within their operating area.

"Today the NSF unit contacted Coalition representatives and informed us that on Sept. 21-22 they gave six pick-up trucks and a portion of their ammunition to a suspected Al Nusra Front intermediary, which equates to roughly 25 percent of their issued equipment," said Col. Patrick Ryder, U.S. Central Command spokesperson. "If accurate, the report of NSF members providing equipment to Al Nusra Front is very concerning and a violation of Syria train and equip program guidelines."

It was not explained, why this commander confessed to have surrendered the equipment to Nusra. The notion of “safe passage” is not clear either: the group of rebels that entered Syria last week was under the protection of the US-led International coalition fighting against ISIS.

However, this news is a new attack against the training program to train and equip about 5,000 rebels to fight against Islamic State militants. The Congress has approved $500m (£323m) to implement the program. This initiative regularly comes under fire, especially from the Republicans.

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#Syria
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