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US ‘adjusts’ aid program to supply new rebel group in Syria

Washington has ‘adjusted’ its controversial program of aiding the Syrian rebels to vet commanders rather than individual fighters, and provide supplies instead of training. A new rebel group in northeastern Syria has emerged as a recipient of US aid.

“The train-and-equip program has changed, but it has not gone away. We’re still equipping moderate Syrian opposition fighters,” Colonel Steve Warren, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, told the press on Tuesday.

As an example, he cited the airdrop of 50 tons of ammunition to the “Syrian Arab Coalition” (SAC), a 5,000-strong force of Arab insurgents in the east of Syria, which he said was fighting against Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS and ISIL) militants. The shipment consisted of small-arms ammunition, hand grenades, and rounds for mortars and rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launchers, he said.

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