The Obama administration’s strategy to train Syrian rebels to defend, but not seize, territory from Islamic State militants is facing stiff resistance from America’s partners in the Syrian opposition.
On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that the U.S. has determined that newly trained rebel fighters will not be able to capture strategically important towns from the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, without the support of forward-deployed U.S. combat troops. So instead, those rebels will only be assigned to defend already-controlled territory.
On Thursday, the Syrian National Coalition, which is recognized by the United States as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, told Foreign Policy that the plan “just doesn’t make sense strategically. […]