'US Army commandos training rebels in Syria'



Dubai: Instructors from US special forces are training armed opposition groups that are fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Syrian state news agency Sana reported.

The US commandos are training rebels from the so-called Free Syrian Army in camps located on the territory of Jordan, according to Sana.

The training programme started in late 2012 in a base located on a private territory in the northern suburbs of the Jordanian capital of Amman.

Apart from the US instructors, the Syrian militants are also receiving training from French and British commandos, Sana said.

The US military also make raids into Syria from Jordan and Lebanon for reconnaissance purposes and for preparing terrorist operations in support of Syrian rebels, Sana cited French newspaper Le Figaro as saying.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Assad accused the British government of arming and supporting terrorists in Syria.

He also said he had doubts that Europe really wanted peace in Syria.

The Syrian events will have disastrous consequences for the entire Middle East, Assad said.

Syria has been locked in a civil war since demonstrations broke out against Assad in March 2011. According to UN estimates, at least 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

Western states have been calling for Assad to step down. However, Russia and Iran insist that Assad's exit cannot be a precondition for a deal to resolve the crisis.

IANS