According to the Washington Post (CIA Ramping up Covert Training Program for Moderate Syrian Rebels. Oct.3, the CIA is expanding a clandestine effort to train opposition fighters in Syria, as U.S. officials said. The newspaper reports the CIA's mission has been defined by the White House's desire to seek a political settlement, a scenario that relies on an eventual stalemate among the warring factions rather than a clear victor. As a result, US officials said, limits on the agency's authorities enable it to provide enough support to help ensure that politically moderate, U.S. supported militias don't lose but not enough for them to win. The Washington Post informs that US officials spoke on the condition of anonymity and said the agency has sent additional paramilitary teams to secret bases in Jordan in recent weeks in a push to double the number of rebel fighters getting CIA instruction and
weapons before being sent back to Syria. The effort led by the CIA was described as an urgent bid to bolster moderate Syrian militias, which have been unable to mount a serious challenge to Assad. The CIA is ramping up and expanding its effort, says a U.S. official familiar with operations in Syria, because it was clear that the opposition was losing, and not only losing tactically but on a more strategic level. Back in June the US deployed Patriot air defense systems F-16 fighter jet aircraft to Jordan as part of the annual military exercise called Eager Lion leaving 700 combat-equipped troops and 200 military planners in Jordan to assist in long-term planning with Jordanian forces in case of a chemical weapons crisis or a large-scale humanitarian relied mission. Then the US announced that it would send light arms to the rebels. In September the New York Times ran an interesting article called President Gains McCain's Backing on Syria Attack saying, Officials said that in the same conversation, which included Senator Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican, Mr. Obama indicated that a covert effort by the United States to arm and train Syrian rebels was beginning to sneak into Syria. Back in May there had been reports that this training program had already been underwayfor some time and the LA Times caught up with it in June, disclosing that the program began at least as far back as November 2012 on US bases in Jordan and Turkey. On August 23 French Le Figaro reported that CIA-trained rebels crossed the Syrian border from Jordan. They had been trained for several months in a training camp on the Jordanian-Syrian border by CIA operatives, as well as Jordanian-Syrian border by CIA operatives, as well as Jordanian and Israeli commandos, the paper said. The first group of 300 handpicked Free Syrian Army soldiers crossed the border on August 17 into the Deraa region, and a second group was deployed on August 19, the paper reported. The paper quoted a researcher at the French Institute for Strategic Analysis as saying the trained rebels group was passing through Ghouta, on their way to Damascus. CIA activities today. The CIA training effort is centered in Jordan, The program is aimed at shoring up the fighting power of units aligned with the Supreme Military Council, an umbrella organization led by General Idris, that relies heavily on contractors and former members of U.S. Special Operations forces. Officials said the instruction is rudimentary and typically spans four to six weeks.