June 17, 2015 / 4:09 PM / in 2 years

U.S. says hard to recruit for Syrian opposition training program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday said it was proving challenging to recruit Syrian opposition forces for a program to train and equip them to battle Islamic State militants, but that it was too soon to give up on the effort.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter testifies before a House Armed Services Committee hearing on U.S. Policy and Strategy in the Middle East, accompanied by U.S. Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey (R), on Capitol Hill in Washington June 17, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

“We have enough training sites and so forth. For now, we don’t have enough trainees to fill them,” U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told a congressional hearing.

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, noted that the training, which officials have said is taking place in Jordan and Turkey, had just started and that it was still too soon “to give up on it.”

Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Susan Heavey

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