Rebel fighters stand on the road between the villages of Zahraa and Nubol in the northern Syrian Aleppo province during clashes with pro-government fighters on November 23, 2014. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMED ZEEN
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At a desert base, Gulf state Qatar is covertly training moderate Syrian rebels with U.S. help to fight both President Bashar Assad and ISIS and may include more overtly Islamist insurgent groups, sources close to the matter say.The camp, south of the capital between Saudi Arabia's border and Al Udeid, the largest U.S. air base in the Middle East, is being used to train the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and other moderate rebels, the sources said.Syrian rebel sources said training in Qatar has included rebels affiliated to the "Free Syrian Army" from northern Syria.In recent weeks, the Qataris, disappointed by lack of progress in the fight against Assad, have started to consider training members of the Islamic Front, a coalition of Islamist rebels less militant than ISIS or the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, but stronger than the FSA.A source who works with rebel groups said Qatar had delivered weapons, mostly mortar bombs, to the Islamic Front and some FSA brigades about two months ago and had paid some salaries for Islamic Front groups.
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