Pentagon training and equipping Syrians to fight ISIL

Baku, May 8, AZERTAC

The Pentagon has begun training the first group of Syrians to fight Islamic State militants, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced Thursday.

"This program is critical and a complex part of our anti-ISIL efforts," Carter said.

There are about 90 members of the first training class, Carter said. The training, taking place in Jordan, will take months. The force will be equipped with small arms.

Members of the force will be paid, but it was not clear how much, Carter said. It was also not determined how the money will be disbursed.

They will be provided air cover and possibly medical evacuation but plans have not been finalized, he said.

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