75 US-trained fighters enter Syria from Turkey

Total of 75 US-trained Syrian fighters enter Syria to fight against ISIS after training in Turkey

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Train-and-equip programme aims to train up to 5,400 fighters a year to combat ISIS

Total of 75 Syrian fighters trained by the United States and coalition forces in Turkey to fight against ISIS were reported as entering Syria on Sunday along with 12 vehicles equipped with machine guns.

"Seventy-five new fighters trained in a camp near the Turkish capital entered Aleppo province between Friday night and Saturday morning," said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

He said the group had entered the country under air cover from the US-led coalition that has been carrying out air strikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

Before the newly trained fighters entered Syria, the US-led train-and-equip programme had only managed to identify and train nearly 60 people (The Division 30) to fight ISIS on the ground.

About 15 US-trained fighters of the Division 30 including Turkmen leader, Nadim al Hasan, were kidnapped in late July by the Nusra Front, when they first entered Syria after 74 days of training.

The kidnappings took place when Nusra Front militants stormed a camp in the village of Qah, a village located in the Idlib province near the Turkish border where the Division 30 fighters had taken refuge, London-based Syrıan Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR) chief Rami Abdel Rahman said at the time.

Nusra Front claimed responsibility for the kidnappings, releasing a video showing members of the US-trained forces.

The US military launched the programme in May aimed at training up to 5,400 fighters a year to combat ISIS.

TRTWorld and agencies