The Syrian rebel group Harakat al-Hazm, one of the White House’s most trusted militias fighting President Bashar al-Assad, collapsed Sunday, with activists posting a statement online from frontline commanders saying they are disbanding their units and folding them into brigades aligned with a larger Islamist insurgent alliance distrusted by Washington.
Hazm was frequently touted by Obama aides as one of the militias they could rely on—a brigade that could partner on train-and-equip.
Hazm, which once claimed to have 5,000 fighters, had received U.S. weapons under a separate covert program launched last year by the CIA that was intended to bolster moderate rebels and put pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to compromise with the opposition.
The collapse comes as the Pentagon embarks on a new $500 million effort to train moderate rebels to fight the Islamic State.
(The Daily Beast, The Washington Post.)
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