In Latest Embarrassment, US-Trained Syrian Fighters Surrender "Pick-Up Trucks, Ammo" To Al-Qaeda

Tyler Durden's picture

Back in July we learned that the Pentagon’s effort to train and equip properly “vetted” Syrian rebels to combat ISIS had suffered an embarrassing setback when the group’s commander and deputy commander were captured by al-Nusra. 

"We, and the Sunni people in Syria, will not allow their sacrifices to be offered on a golden platter to the American side,” the group said, on the way to advising the US to give up on the program. 

As it turns out, that was good advice because less than two months later, Gen. Lloyd Austin, head of the U.S. Central Command and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Christine Wormuth admitted to Congress that the effort to recruit and field a force of more than 5,000 anti-ISIS fighters by year end wasn’t on track. When asked how many soldiers trained under the program (which was launched in May) were still operating in Syria, Austin said the total was probably “four or five.” 

“Let’s not kid ourselves, that’s a joke. This is just a total failure,” Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said. 

Training those “four or five” freedom fighters has so far cost US taxpayers north of $40 million, and as we noted earlier this month, it’s important to take note of the sheer absurdity inherent in al-Nusra capturing the group’s leaders over the summer:

Effectively, the newest group of US-trained Syrian fighters was on their way to fight ISIS, another group of US-trained Syrian fighters, when their leaders were captured by al-Nusra, an offshoot of al-Qaeda, whose founder and allies received US support during the Soviet-Afghan war. 

Well, just when you thought things couldn’t possibly get any more ridiculous, the Pentagon now says the “four or five” fighters still operating under the latest effort to train “moderate” Syrian rebels were forced to hand over six “pickup trucks” and an ammo cache to al-Qaeda in order to secure safe passage to who knows where. Here’s Reuters:

Syrian rebels trained by the United States gave some of their equipment to the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front in exchange for safe passage, a U.S. military spokesman said on Friday, the latest blow to a troubled U.S. effort to train local partners to fight Islamic State militants.


The rebels surrendered six pick-up trucks and some ammunition, or about one-quarter of their issued equipment, to a suspected Nusra intermediary on Sept. 21-22 in exchange for safe passage, said Colonel Patrick Ryder, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, in a statement.


"If accurate, the report of NSF members providing equipment to al Nusra Front is very concerning and a violation of Syria train and equip program guidelines," Ryder said, using an acronym for the rebels, called the New Syrian Forces.

U.S. Central Command, which oversees U.S. military operations in the Middle East, was told of the equipment surrender around 1 p.m. on Friday, Ryder said. Earlier on Friday, Ryder had said all weapons and equipment issued to the rebels remained under their control.



The news was the most recent sign of trouble in a fledgling military effort to train fighters to take on the Islamic State militant group in Syria, where a 4-1/2-year civil war has killed about 250,000 people and caused nearly half of Syria's prewar population of 23 million to flee.


A top U.S. general told Congress last week that only a handful of the rebels are still fighting in Syria, though U.S. military officials said this week that dozens more have since joined them.


U.S. officials have told Reuters that a review is underway that could result in scaling back and reenvisioning the program.

Yes, it may indeed be time to think about “scaling back” the program, although we would note that this is one program which seems to be on the way to scaling itself back so perhaps it's best to just let it continue to self destruct and lest anyone should think that this story isn't set to get still more absurd, we present the following from The Guardian who notes that the British security think tank Royal United Services Institute is now out claiming that Russia's earnest effort to rout ISIS (as opposed to Washington's half-hearted containment strategy that essentially gives the group just enough rope to ensure the Assad regime remains under seige) will somehow promote terrorism:

The deployment of Russian troops in Syria could end up helping Islamic State as they have been sent to areas where they are most likely to fight other groups opposed to Isis, according to a new report.


The Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) report comes ahead of a US-Russian summit meeting at the UN on Monday, when Barack Obama will question Vladimir Putin on the intention behind Russia’s deepening military involvement in Syria, according to US officials.


The Rusi report, titled Inherently Unresolved, assesses the global effort to counter the spread of Isis, and warns that Iraq and Syria may not survive as unitary states. It includes a section on Russian aims, particularly those underpinning Putin’s despatch this month of warplanes and troops to Tartus and Latakia in support of Bashar al-Assad’s regime.


Igor Sutyagin, a Russian strategic analyst, said there was an air regiment at Latakia with 28 planes, a battalion of motorised infantry and military engineers as well as a marine battalion at the naval base in Tartus.


The deployment, Sutyagin said, “underlines the contradictions of the Kremlin’s policy”, because the troops were in areas where Isis is not present. 


“In this way, Russian troops are backing Assad in the fight against groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham, which are themselves opposed to Isis. If Russian troops do eventually join combat, therefore, they would also – technically – be assisting Isis,” Sutyagin argued.

We'll simply close with a quote from the Russian foreign ministry's sharp-tongued spokeswoman Maria Zakharova:

"First we were accused of providing arms to the so-called 'bloody regime that was persecuting democratic activists'. Now it's a new edition - we are supposedly harming the fight against terrorism. That is complete rubbish." 

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The Indelicate Genius's picture
The Indelicate Genius (not verified) Sep 26, 2015 8:35 AM

Shit's fucked up.

AlaricBalth's picture

All 5 Syrian fighters surrendered?
Oh man, we are toast...

"Only about “four or five” U.S.-trained Syrian rebels remain on the battlefield to take on the Islamic State"

Motasaurus's picture

I am Jack's total lack of surprise.

OTOH perhaps the US openly admitting this is just their way of backing out of taking responsibility for their assets in the middle east and so signalling that they're surrendering their (current) attempts at Syria. 

two hoots's picture


A couple of thousand taxpayers worked every Monday and part of Tuesday their entire lives to finance that ill concocted failure?  No doubt better spent than on their own families?   And who cares?


We must fix this.  Neither our citizens or the world deserve this wasteful, embarrassing, harmful, likely criminal, false exceptionalism “our” US government routinely displays. 


toady's picture

Please. This is obviously a ploy to continue flooding the region with weapons. They can't have the Iraqis drop their weapons and leave hundreds of tanks behind every month. These "four or five" nameless dudes can, and will, make sure "four or five" warring factions remain heavily armed. 

Latina Lover's picture

Surrender of equipment was obviously part of the USSA plan, however screwed up.  How is it possible that this rag tag group of head choppers has access to BILLIONS  of dollars in advance USSA military equipment? Really, why would anyone with half a brain believe ANYTHING that the USSA state department, or British Poodles, say?

Paveway IV's picture

What I find most disappointing is that after this article has been up almost six hours and after 175 comments, nobody has questioned the erroneous details of Tyler's post. Tyler is reporting just what the Pentagram and Reuters have said (mostly) but confuses the already erroneous details in a material way almost like it was designed to deceive. No idea if it's intentional or not. It's not my web site and the Tylers can choose to publish whatever they want.

But 175 comments later, we have plenty of muzzie-hatin' and 9/11 crap, but not an ounce of critical thought about the subject of this article or the way Tyler has presented it.

Which explains why the Tylers have not banned me - in the absence of critical thought, there's little danger of anyone stirring up any dangerous critical thinking.

So, yeah... just go with Reuters/Pentagram. Four or five moderate rebels turned over six pickups and some ammo, and the Pentagram just found out about it on Friday. [incredulous snort...]

CheapBastard's picture
'Finland's no good': Disappointed migrants turn back


"You can tell the world I hate Finland. It's too cold, there's no tea, no restaurants, no bars, nobody on the streets, only cars," 22-year-old Muhammed told AFP in Tornio, as the mercury struggled to inch above 10 degrees Celsius (50 Fahrenheit) on a recent blustery grey day.


Not enough welfare and the Babes are not too good looking in Finland.

COSMOS's picture

I find it ironic, the christian taxpayer pays for scums like that as illegal immigrants in Europe and the USA taxpayer pays for them in the ME.  What a fucking joke.

They knew this was going to happen, why couldnt they put some transponders in those trucks so they could blow them up, or even a bomb in the gas tank so they could remotely blow them up and take out some Al queda dudes.  Oh sorry forgot they are Al CIAda.

With Finland they didnt go there because they were not made to feel welcom by the locals.  Imagine that, it doesnt take much if people would get off their ass and stone some illegals as a greeting.

Amish FinEng's picture

Thanks for that. I hated freedom and liberty anyway.

Latina Lover's picture


many of us have become so used to the lies spewed by the USSA, that we take them for granted and then go off on our favorite hobby horses.  Few on ZH actually believe that so called trained US fighters just 'gave' their pick up trucks and ammo to Al Qaeda (a CIA creation). In a country where the per capita income is less than 1 fifth of the value of the truck alone, no gives anything away.

espirit's picture

Putting everything in perspective...

Fewer global resources leads to survival of the fittest.

espirit's picture

Oh, and suppressors are legal in Finland.

Amish FinEng's picture

What happens is not an immediate ban, you're put on the list at this point and any further bitchen gets you banned.

You never talk back to Tyler, ever. It's like spitting in the face of an FBI man.

Slomotrainwreck's picture

Who is this stupid "US" that you speak of?

toady's picture

The word "us" doesn't appear in my comment. 

Jack's Raging Bile Duct's picture

My thoughts exactly. Exclaiming, "oops" at an intercepted airdrop isn't acceptable because there are no degrees of separation. Having a party that is "acceptable" to arm "surrender" them to those who are not....totally fine. See? Not USA's fault.

FEDbuster's picture

How about giving $40 million dollars worth of weapons to the Kurds?  I know Turkey would be pissed, but I bet that buys you a whole bunch of dead ISIS fighters.

Son of Loki's picture

American Middle Class taxpayers have deep pockets.

FEDbuster's picture

Why tax when you can "charge it"?  The US Military backed Federal Reserve issued American Empire charge card unlimited and accepted worldwide (for now).  Current balance $18 trillion, monthly minimum payment $0. (interest is added to the balance)

NoPension's picture

Training 5 soldiers, $40 million

No boots on the ground, Priceless.

Is anything not fucked up anymore?

Amish FinEng's picture

Trump's going to fix it all like one big Wolleman Skating Rink project.

COSMOS's picture

Sorry to say it but the dollar and the USA is going down.  We are our own worst enenmy.  And China and Russia have some smart folks in charge helping speed up our decline. 

All the politicians we have are either murderers or circus clowns.  We are rotting from the head.

BuddyEffed's picture

Someone should try to get a breakdown and listing of exactly where that 40 million went. Excellent candidate for fraud waste and abuse possibility.

Professorlocknload's picture

Well, Buddy, you get three guesses where that money went,,,and the first two don't count.

Hint. MIC

espirit's picture

$40 Mil USDopeyDollahs are just chumpchange to those that Cntlprnt to run Fed.Gov.

TheReplacement's picture

Why do either of those when the CIA can pay cash with heroin proceeds.  Or, did you think we are still in Afghanistan because we are making them free?

Jumbotron's picture

American Middle Class taxpayers have deep pockets.


And tiny minds, and attention spans now measured in the time it takes for a Hot Pocket to cook in the microwave.


And furthermore.....< DING >.....uummmm....HHhhhhottttt Pockets.   What was I saying ?  

CheapBastard's picture

It's the "Gruberized" generation!


No thought, no feeling.

Vincent.Vega's picture

> American Middle Class taxpayers have deep pockets.

The IRS taxation mechanism should be interpreted as taking back one third of a bone thrown at a dog a minute ago. It's a complete misnomer to apply both the "Middle Class" and "taxpayers" terms in this case.

The notion of "tax" simply cannot be applied to Americans since the country has a monthly trade deficit of about $45B (i.e. physical goods and cash flows have to be poured into the country, as there is no such a thing as uncorking .gov/consumer savings anymore -- given the total national debt)?

All the essence and knowledge is lost about two generations ago, since ZOG pushed people into using words and even making up sentences with no meaning behind them and it's quite incredible:

Sad, but true... Everyday, everywhere you meet/see "analyst" who are dressed up in suites and use hi-tech gadgets and would hope they might be more intelligent than a dog or a monkey typist -- but once those ZOG education program victims open holes in the middle of their faces and start producing senseless waves or sounds (or type vacuous sequences of characters in their blogs online) you realize how bad things turned out to be -- and random shuffling of such stereotypes and propaganda clichés substituted the real knowledge and thinking process in an average persons' brain... 42 is the new Number of the Beast.

It's just inconceivable how everything is so virtual, fake an superficial in the head of an average slave/workforce resource who would not survive _a single month without the FRS_, since all central banks in the world (aside from maybe North Korea and Cuba) are affiliates of the Federal Reserve System.

Simply put, if there is no FED tomorrow, there is no USA. FED is the main mechanism of the colonial taxation, and all other central banks in the world are just branches of FED, being, in essence, just currency boards, usually supervised by former Goldmanites.

Here is a real world example.:

[... ] The United States recorded a budget deficit of $149.2 Billion in July, $55 billion higher from the same period last year as spending increased more than receipts [...]

There is no free lunch, if USA has a deficit of 150B in Jul 2015, then someone needs to deliver physical goods to compensate for it. Repeat, _physical goods_. The only way for the USA to get the missing 150 billion dollars is from its colonies and vassals, so FED orders, say, Central Bank of Japan to print ("produce") worth of 10 billion dollars in local currency, yen, in an exchange for the "US debt instruments" (i.e. IOU with real value of zero). That means that in July Japanese slaves will have to produce physical articles (cars, electronics etc. -- BTW, that's one of the reasons why Japanese cars are so good, i.e cheap given they are cheaper than their manufacturing cost) which will contribute extra $10 billion dollars to Japan's GDP so that soccer mom Sara can enjoy her new Honda Odyssey. Then FED assigns ECB to generate, say, worth of 50 billion dollars in Euro, and so on, until it gets covered for the whole amount of $150 MMM.

And if a colony refuses to pay, then there is always the Seventh Fleet, missing Malaysian or Indonesian flights, explosions in Thailand, ISIS/i-CIA-SIS, "Ebola" only in oil-rich regions, etc.  However, at this point US colonies are no more capable of producing any more freebies, so USA (read, USA owners), to survive, are creating a chaos in the rest of the world -- to attract the remaining foreign capital into USA (the "only safe heaven" on the planet), and later on burn it in a controlled hyperinflation (devaluating dollar by 75-80% over the course of 1-2 months).


Unfortunately, financial reporting is screwed up _by design_ and GDP had to be used in the example, which is just a fancy term for the total final sales, but these "final sales" are not a good indicator of the economic power at all and don't make much sense whatsoever. A pair of flip flops produced for $1 in China is then delivered and sold in USA for $10, and at that moment China's GDP grew only by 1 dollar whereas USA GDP by 10 dollars. This of course allows USA to claim that its GDP is ten times bigger than China's. The whole modern "economic theory" and accounting is one big pile of BS.


Just because ZOG media never covers National Liberation Movements (NLM) around the worlds, doesn't mean they don't exist. The strongest National Liberation Movements are in Russia (led by Putin) and Germany, despite the fact that Germany is a vassal/Tier 1 colony allowed to rob its own colonies.

Amish FinEng's picture

or Terrrists.

You decide. I'm going to make some cabinets, lets talk later.

Crash N. Burn's picture

"How about giving $40 million dollars worth of weapons to the Kurds? I know Turkey would be pissed, but I bet that buys you a whole bunch of dead ISIS fighters."

How does that overthrow Assad or get the Sunni (Qatar and Saudi) gas pipeline built?

Seriously though, if they really wanted to hurt ISIS (or whatever the fuck its called this week), they would:

"Pressure Turkey and Jordan to cut off ISIS supply routes, and impose sanctions on any country facilitating the sale of oil from IS territory or allowing funds or materials to reach them. No army can function if their supply chain is broken. It's not an accident these routes start at the Turkish and Jordanian borders."

How To Solve The European Migrant/Refugee Crisis - 5 Simple Steps

Razor_Edge's picture

Anything going into Syria from Jordan is coming from USA LLC or UK plc. Now why would they interdict their own materiel?

Bay Area Guy's picture

The Kurds were are BFF's two or three wars ago. Try to keep up.

I agree with your post, by the way. We have allowed the Kurds to be fucked twelve ways from Sunday for a very long time.

Fahque Imuhnutjahb's picture



This talk of scaling back our efforts is utter nonsense.  Rather, we should increase the amount of equipment and armaments

we allow to fall into "enemy" hands, but only after fitting them with Hellfire Missal beacons.  Likewise, we could let a few billion

FRN's, with tracking capabilities,  fall into the hands of the ?? dissidents, insurgents, rebels, radicals, terrorists ??, thus analyzing

the financial intricacies of their networks.   Further, we could recruit terminally ill citizens/patriots to be implanted with RFID

and taken hostage in an effort to root out the civilian cells.  We could allow large shipments of small arms to be taken, and

track cluster patterns via satellite.  Think fast and furious.  I'm not that bright, so I figure someone else has thought of these tactics,

so I don't always assume our gov. operatives are total morons.

Bastiat's picture

Harder to find volunteers who want their heads cut off with a dull knife, even among the terminally ill.

Fahque Imuhnutjahb's picture

Very true, that's where the merciful Hell Fire Missile comes in.

logically possible's picture

Lets send you. You sound terminally ill.

Fahque Imuhnutjahb's picture

No, Imuhnutjahb.  Mentally ill, in a fun kinda way q:B

q99x2's picture

"Only about “four or five” U.S.-trained Syrian rebels remain on the battlefield to take on the Islamic State"

The rest of them are in or headed to Germany to find the banksters that double tricked them.

Overfed's picture

We wish. In reality they're heading to Germany for some fat social welfare benefits.

king leon's picture

No doubt these weapons have ended up where the US originally wanted them to, just like the weapons the US left in Iraq found their way to ISIS. 

nosam's picture

This is a weapons transfer mechanism. Both sides work for the US. Nothing to see herer.

messymerry's picture

The MIC et. al. are loving it.  Actually, I think we should change the acronym from MIC to MPIC, that is Military and Police Industrial Complex.  The MIC is one of the main beneficiaries of the militarization of the CIVILIAN police forces...


freewolf7's picture

MIC doesn't care where the weapons go. They'll just make more.