There are only 4 or 5 US-trained Syrian Fighters remaining combating ISIS from the original 54 inserted into Syria in July 2015. The U.S strategy for Syria approved one year ago was/ is (?) to defeat/contain ISIS by training 5,400 Rebels over the following year period in a 500 million dollar program., These numbers were not reached and of 50 US trained fighters most have either defected to al Nusra (the Syrian al Qaeda front) or been killed by the larger jihadist rebel battalions.
Further information released in recent days by U.S. defense officials has confirmed that military equipment issued by the United States to Syrian rebel fighters has been funneled to al Nusra, the al Qaeda offshoot.
The US supplied lethal equipment, which included ammunition and pick-up trucks, was “surrendered” to an al Nusra Front affiliate in order to ensure that the US sponsored rebel fighters could pass freely through territories controlled by the terrorist group
CBS News interviewed Colonel Hassan Mustafa a commander in Syria's American-trained rebel fighters who refused to show his face for fear of being killed by the other guerilla forces on the ground in Syria. His fear of showing his identity indicates the precarious and slender profile of the US allied Syrian guerillas. Salafists don't like armed American agents in Syria and the government is of the same disposition.
Finally, Pentagon officials admitted on Sep 16th that only 4 or 5 individuals from the fighters already vetted by America remain in the fight against ISIS. This admission was made by the Head of US Central Command, General Lloyd Austin.
Gen Austin however insisted "We continue to make progress across the battle space"..
What of the UK's level of participation in the US-led Air campaign aspect of the Coalition against ISIS in Syria? In May of this year the UK Ministry of Defence reported the Royal Air Force destroyed 4 Isis machine-gun positions, some bulldozers and 2 “vehicles” (one of them “large” the other probably a Toyota Hilux with a gun on the back). Three “buildings” were also flattened. "As Crispin Blunt has rightly said ... the British arm of the US-led Air campaign Coalition against ISIS in Syria achieves very little and will in future achieve very little."( "Bomb Syria, and recruits will be rolling up to join Isis", by Frank Ledwidge, The Guardian)
The US Media specially the New York Times have together with the neocons been "egging Obama into a U.S. military intervention to destroy Assad’s military so the insignificant “moderates” could somehow prevail." (Robert Parry, "NYT’s New Propaganda on Syria",June 3, 2015). Any possible White House action along such lines have been checked by today's bombing raids against anti-government jihadists by the Russian Federation Air Force.
The "Curse on both your houses" western policy toward the government and ISIS of Syria has been pre-empted by the swift Russian strikes against ISIS and in defence of Syria's lawful national sovereignty and Russia's national interests. These strikes followed yesterday's speech at The United Nations General Assembly elucidating the Russian position.
The international fight for secular Syria under the present state government is on. Russia has made the case for her sovereignty and the impermissibility of a Syria under the control of the jihadists. Iran, Iraq, Syria and Russia have just opened a joint command centre to oversee the crisis.Check. What next Washington?