The war against ISIS is continuing and increasing in desperation and violence as Iraqi forces have begun to strike back and take back land that they had once lost. While that is happening in Iraq, Syrian government forces are fighting against both ISIS and the various rebel factions that are currently carving the country apart. The Syrian rebels themselves are split between pro-ISIS Islamists, anti-ISIS Islamists, and secular rebels who just want an egalitarian society; this is also not taking the Kurds into account. Now, in an effort to continue to hurt ISIS where it can, the US has announced that it has begun training Syrian rebels to fight ISIS.
The initial class is small, made up of only 90 fighters and is being seen as a test to see just how possible this step of US strategy is. A second and larger group is going to be trained in a few weeks; both groups are hidden away from both allied and enemy forces to make sure they’re as safe as possible. This training of Syrian rebels is a key part of the regional US strategy that aims to strike at ISIS first and, if possible, the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad second. While ISIS is without a doubt the main target for these rebels, it would be silly to assume that the US and anti-Syrian forces are hoping the rebels will take what they learned and bring it to the original fight of the Syrian Civil War. That being said, the official US stance is that the rebels aren’t being asked to fight against Assad.
Hopefully this strategy of training works. The Free Syrian Army is probably the only rebel force that has any sort of support from western powers, other than the Kurds who are engaged in their own life-or-death dance. Turning the FSA into a worthy, standalone fighting force that doesn’t need anything other than arms would go very far towards helping achieve US goals in the region and stabilizing at least Syria. Ideally the FSA will be able to work in tandem with the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Iraqi army/militias to finally destroy ISIS once and for all.
If you’d like to read more, the link is here.