The U.S. campaign to create a new ground force to fight the Islamic State appears to be a flop. The program, designed to train some fifteen thousand Syrians in the course of three years—at a cost of five hundred million dollars—has only a handful of fighters in Syria. “We’re talking four or five,” General Lloyd J. Austin III told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday. Austin heads Central Command, which runs U.S. military operations in the Middle East and South Asia, a position made famous by former General David Petraeus. Austin conceded that the rebel program is “off to a slow start.”
“That’s a joke,” Kelly Ayotte, the New Hampshire Republican, responded.
12:33 U.S.' Tillerson calms allies on Syria ahead of Geneva talks16
07:31 Iraqi forces launch push to retake western half of Mosul from ISIS22
00:02 Omar Abdel Rahman, imprisoned ‘blind sheikh’ linked to terrorist efforts, dies at 7821
11:59 Pakistan kills 39 suspected militants after deadly shrine bombing16