WASHINGTON: Despite a CIA operation to vet and train moderate Syrian rebels, the U.S. finds itself without a credible partner on the ground in Syria as it bombs the Islamic State group there. That's a potentially serious flaw in the Obama administration's strategy to ultimately defeat the militants.
The U.S. strategy to crush IS rests on the use of local proxy forces, and hinges on plans to use $500 million and a base in Saudi Arabia to build an army of moderate Syrian rebels. But U.S. officials are acknowledging that as of now they don't trust any Syrian rebel group enough to coordinate on the bombing campaign.
That shows how difficult it will be to build and train a force of 5,000 capable of going after IS.