US plans for training anti-Islamic State force drawing skepticism from Turkey, Syrian rebels

April 10, 2015 12:23 PM

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ISTANBUL – The fight against the Islamic State group received a jolt of energy when the United States and Turkey sealed a pact to train and arm Syrian rebels. Two months later, the program faces delays and skepticism — as Turkish officials, Syrian rebels and even former American advisers openly question whether it can ever have any battlefield impact.

The U.S. Defense Department says it is narrowing down a list of potential fighters to be trained under the $500 million U.S. program aimed at adding a credible ground force to the air bombing campaign already underway against IS. Turkish officials, who had initially pegged the start date to March, n...

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