Free Syrian Army Sees No Changes So Far After Reported End of US Support
Syrian opposition has seen no changes on the ground so far after reports of the United States ending its arms and training support, spokesman for the Southern Front of the Free Syrian Army Issam Rais told Sputnik on Thursday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On Wednesday, The Washington Post, citing US officials, said that Trump had reportedly made the decision to halt the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) support program for Syrian moderate opposition. The CIA refused to comment on the reports.
"Yes, we heard the news, but nothing changes yet. I think it needs more time until the effects take place. Either way, it will not be the end for the armed opposition," Rais said.
US congresswoman and military veteran Tulsi Gabbard said in December that the CIA was arming Syrian rebels in an effort to overthrow the Assad government.
White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters at a press briefing on Wednesday that she cannot confirm the news of ending the program "at this time."
Trump reportedly decided to halt the training about a month ago after a meeting with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, which preceded his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at G20.
Private US intelligence firm Soufan Group released a report on Thursday claiming that the alleged decision by Trump to end the CIA's arm-and-train program for the moderate Syrian opposition signals that ousting Syria's President Bashar Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.
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