U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter testifies at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on ''The President's Request for Authorization to Use Force Against ISIS: Military and Diplomatic Efforts'' on Capitol Hill in Washington March 11, 2015. (Reuters)
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Geneva – The U.S. Secretary of Defence, Ash Carter, said Wednesday that the American administration is not sure about its legal authority to provide protection to the trained Syrian rebels from attacks by local military forces affiliated with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
According to Carter, a Congressional approval of new war powers in Syria would not necessarily guarantee backing Syrian moderate rebels against Syrian regime’s forces in the ongoing war.
“We don’t foresee that happening any time soon,” he said.
Carter reportedly said during a Senate hearing that no final decision has been made yet in this regard.
“A legal determination has not been made, whether we would have authority to do that or not,” The U.S. Defence Secretary said.
The United States launched a training program aimed at preparing about 5000 Syrian moderate rebels to combat militant fighters of the Islamic State through ground operations in Syria.
However, the American strategy in this regard was exposed to a wide range of critique as it doesn’t take into consideration the threat of pro-Assad forces to the trained rebels.
Reporting by: Lorin Silo