Military Officials Endorse Obama’s Plan to Train Syrian Rebels

Washington D.C.

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Before a key House vote, a group of prominent U.S. diplomatic and military officials urged Congress to approve President Obama’s plan to train Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), reports The Hill. September in particular has been fraught with political unrest because of mounting Middle Eastern turmoil; Obama has come forward on multiple occasions to discuss the plan of action moving forward, which has left many Americans deeply concerned about the future of U.S. troops in Iraq.

Earlier this month, President Obama announced a plan to “equip moderate Syrian opposition rebels to fight ISIS,” a strategy that was to be voted upon by the House of Representatives. This plan would entail U.S. military personnel training more than 5,000 Syrian rebels over the course of a year. Prior to the vote, many military officials gave their support, including David Petraeus, former military general and chairman of KKR’s Global Institute, former Ambassadors Ryan C. Crocker and Robert S. Ford, and retired General Jack M. Keane, who collectively composed a letter supporting the President’s plan for the House Armed Services Committee.

In the letter, the diplomatic and military officials wrote, “We write to express our strong support for Congressional authorization of the provision of assistance and training to properly vetted members of the Syrian opposition,” proclaiming their endorsement of Obama’s strategy. “The Free Syrian Army (FSA) is simultaneously fighting both the murderous regime of Bashar al-Assad and the barbaric [ISIS],” they explain, adding, “Providing greater assistance to FSA is the United States’ best opportunity to develop a moderate force that is capable of defeating ISIS and bringing about a post-Assad Syria that is free of terror.”

According to Business Insider, “The House of Representatives passed an amendment on Wednesday that will give President Barack Obama the authority to arm and train moderate elements of the Syrian opposition, a key part of the president’s strategy for confronting the extremist group [ISIS],” of the decision to move forward with the proposal. With the support of military and foreign affairs insiders, the United States will move forward to eradicate the horrific violence caused by ISIS.

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