Nice job “vetting,” Barack.
Pentagon-trained rebels are reported to have betrayed US and handed weapons over to an al-Qaeda affiliate immediately after entering Syria.
Fighters with Division 30 surrendered and handed over “all its weapons” to Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria, sources alleged on Monday.
The moderate rebel group was the first faction to graduate from a US-led training programme in Turkey which aims to forge a fighting force on the ground in Syria to fight against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
“A strong slap [in the face] for America… the new group from Division 30 that entered yesterday hands over all of its weapons to Jabhat al-Nusra after being granted safe passage,” tweeted Abu Fahd al-Tunisi, who purports to be a member of the al-Qaeda affiliate.
“They also handed over a very large amount of ammunition and medium weaponry and a number of pick-ups.”
Abu Khattab al-Maqdisi, who also claims to be a Nusra member, added that Anas Ibrahim Obaid, Division 30’s commander, had explained to al-Nusra’s leaders that he had tricked the coalition because he needed weapons.
“He promised to issue a statement… repudiating Division 30, the coalition, and those who trained him,” tweeted Maqdisi on Monday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a pro-opposition UK-based watchdog, reported on Sunday that 75 Division 30 fighters had crossed into Syria from Turkey the previous morning with “12 four-wheel vehicles equipped with machine guns and ammunition”.