US and Turkey plot alternative military training to fight ISIL

World Today

The U.S. and Turkey navigated a new course in the fight ISIL. Plans took shape to train moderate Syrian rebels to fight the terror group. CCTV America’s Michal Bardavid reported from Istanbul.

US and Turkey plot alternative military training to fight ISIL

The U.S. and Turkey navigated a new course in the fight ISIL. Plans took shape to train moderate Syrian rebels to fight the terror group. CCTV America's Michal Bardavid reported from Istanbul.

U.S.-led airstrikes in Kobane, Syria may have helped local defenders beat back invading ISIL forces, but they’ve also made clear that a full Islamic State defeat would most certainly require advanced ground operations. Neither the U.S. nor Turkey wanted to send in their own troops to fight the battle. The alternative option was training moderate Syrian rebels.

The U.S. Congress authorized President Obama’s plan to arm, equip and train members of the moderate Syrian opposition. The training was expected to take place in Turkey and several other countries, but exactly what this training would entail and how effective it would be against Islamic State militants was a question mark.

Experts believed that for Syrian fighters to have any chance of success against ISIL militants on the ground, they needed to go through intense and specific military training.

“Special Forces training is the most critical and suitable training, because it seems like the opponent is not an organized force. I believe guerilla type training, hit and run tactics, and small team operations should be taught for successful results,” Ismail Aydin from Retired Colonel of Turkish Army said.

Special forces training in the Turkish military includes fighting in extreme weather conditions, parachute and marine exercises, close contact combat and hostage rescue operations.Yet, the Islamic State is known to have its own hard-core training.

The planned U.S. and Turkey training of Syrian rebels was expected to start no earlier than March, frustrating rebel groups desperate for the help. Their challenge of defeating extremist Islamic State militants may depend on it.