Qatar with the assistance of U.S. is reportedly covertly training moderate Syrian rebels to fight President Bashar al-Assad and the Islamic State (ISIS).
The training camp located between Saudi Arabia's border and Al Udeid, the largest U.S. air base in the Middle East, is on a restricted military zone controlled by the Qatari Special forces, reported Reuters.
The Free Syrian Army (FSA) militants are one among the many moderate rebel groups being trained at the Qatari military base for the last one year.
The induction process for the training camp is monitored by the CIA, which is tasked with screening the militants. Once CIA clears a small group of 20 to 30 moderate militants, the operatives are then taken to Turkey, from where they are flown to Doha and brought to the training camp by the Qatari Special forces, an informed Source told the news agency.
The measures, however, have not been of much help. "The U.S. wanted to help the rebels oust Assad but didn't want to be open about their support, so to have rebels trained in Qatar is a good idea, the problem is the scale is too small," a Western source in Doha told Reuters.
The sources, however, claims that the training mainly focuses on light weapons and till now none of the 'moderate' rebels have been trained in advanced weapons. It is an issue with the rebels also, who consider the training 'ineffective' to fight the Syrian army and the Islamic State (ISIS) militants, who are all better equipped.
The CIA declined to comment, as did Qatar's foreign ministry and an FSA spokesman in Turkey.