BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:05 P.M.) – The U.S. spent over $1 billion since 2013 to have the C.I.A. train and arm the militants fighting the Syrian government forces, a new report by the New York Times (NYT) claimed.
“Critics in Congress had complained for years about the costs — more than $1 billion over the life of the program — and reports that some of the C.I.A.-supplied weapons had ended up in the hands of a rebel group tied to Al Qaeda further sapped political support for the program,” the report said.
This covert operation by the C.I.A. has proven to be one of the costliest and least successful in U.S. history, despite the fact it was also aided by Gulf allies like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
“The shuttering of the C.I.A. program, one of the most expensive efforts to arm and train rebels since the agency’s program arming the mujahedeen in Afghanistan during the 1980s, has forced a reckoning over its successes and failures,” the NYT report added.
The operation has since been cancelled by U.S. President Donald Trump, causing outrage among Syrian opposition activists and rebels.