The United States now wants to train vetted militia groups such as the Syrian Kurds to fight the Islamic State. The development has come amid reports that the US will no longer train and arm Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State (Isis) in Syria.
It has now emerged that Pentagon now plans to modify its policy and will directly arm vetted opposition militants groups in Syria.
The New York Times reported on Friday that the Obama administration has finally pulled the plug on the $500 million program that has failed to produce any effective opposition in Syria capable of tackling Isis.
A senior Pentagon official shared the news on condition of anonymity, but US defence officials were expected to announce it publicly on Friday, the NYT reported.
Pentagon not only drastically failed in its goal of training 5,400 rebels a year, but according to a senior US commander, only "four or five" US-trained Syrian rebels are fighting the Isis out of the 54 graduates.
The first group trained by the US after arriving in Syria this summer came under attack by Al-Qaeda and dispersed. The second team soon after reaching Syria surrendered the US-supplied arms and equipment to Al Qaeda.
"I'm the first one to acknowledge it has not worked the way it was supposed to," President Obama said last week. Obama attributed the failure of the program to getting the rebels to focus on fighting Isis instead of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
A senior US official told CBS as per new "modified" plan, Pentagon-trained advisers will embed with local vetted groups such as Syrian Kurds and other moderate fighters to make them fight the Isis more efficiently.
An Obama administration official told USA Today that the new program will be aimed at training small cadres of rebels to fight Isis in areas around Raqqa, the Sunni militant group's de facto capital.