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NEWS | May 8, 2015

Initial Class of Syrian Opposition Forces Begin Training

By U.S. Central Command News Release

May 7, 2015

Release # 20150503
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TAMPA, Fla. - The U.S. military and partner forces have begun training the initial class of appropriately vetted Syrian opposition recruits this week to support the effort to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL in Syria.

This multinational and interagency program involves coalition military and foreign ministries, intelligence agencies, and civilian investigative services. The training curriculum is designed to meet the specific needs of the Syrian opposition forces and may be tailored to specific mission and personnel requirements.

Training will cover a range of critical combat skills, including marksmanship, casualty care, land navigation, communications, leadership, and law of armed conflict and human rights principles.

The training phase is a critical step in the Syria train and equip mission designed to build the capability of the appropriately vetted Syrian fighters so that they can defend the Syrian people from attacks by ISIL and secure territory controlled by the Syrian opposition; protect the United States, its friends and allies, and the Syrian people from threats posed by terrorists in Syria; and promote the conditions for a negotiated settlement to end the conflict in Syria.

The international community recognizes the significant threat posed by ISIL in the region, and the train-and-equip mission is a vital part of the campaign to counter ISIL. The more than 60 partners of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL continue their synchronized and mutually-reinforcing efforts to degrade and ultimately defeat this shared threat.

Editor's note: The safety and security of these new trainees and the trainers are our top priority. For operational security and force protection reasons, specific details regarding the class size, training course length of time, and the locations of the training will not be provided.