Twelve years after 9/11, the U.S. has changed sides. The Long War Journal reported on June 29 that the Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, which is “al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria,” has “cooperated with Free Syrian Army units to establish sharia, or Islamic law, in Aleppo and in eastern Syria.” What is the Free Syrian Army? The “moderates” whom we are training and to whom we are giving weapons: “the US government is backing the Free Syrian Army despite the group’s known ties to the Al Nusrah Front.”
“Training of Syrian insurgents steps up in Saudi Arabia,” by Mohammed Najib for IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, October 17 (thanks to C. Cantoni):
Free Syrian Army (FSA) units are receiving intensive training from US Marine Corps personnel in Saudi Arabia, a senior FSA source has told IHS Jane’s .
The source said the United States and Saudi Arabia have agreed to train around 1,500 insurgents. The programme began a few months ago and most of the personnel will be trained by the end of 2013.
The courses last for 100 days and include fighting in built up areas (FIBUA). The most recent intake that arrived from Jordan on 13 October consists of around 40% from insurgent groups operating inside Syria, with the rest recruited from refugees in neighbouring countries.