Sources close to Qatari and U.S military operations have revealed that fighters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are being trained in Qatar. The objective of the training is to oust President Assad, fight against the Islamist State and probably against other overtly Islamist insurgent groups. The training according to a source is being held at a military base, in the desert, guarded by Qatari Special Forces. Most of the Arab counties want to see an end to the Assad regime and support any move leading towards that direction.
The camp, south of the capital between Saudi Arabia’s border and Al Udeid, the largest US air base in the Middle East, is believed to be used for the training of the FSA and other moderate rebels, the sources said. The trainees are being recruited in small groups of 12 to 20. Trainings are done between two and three months before a new group is recruited.
They are mostly taught basic techniques such as ambushes. The rebels have asked for advanced techniques such as building improvised explosive devices (IEDs) but their requests were denied.
A western source in Doha said the trainings are done in small numbers because the U.S does not want to be “open about their support” to the rebels and also considers training rebels in Qatar “as a good idea.”
Qatar is considering training members of the Islamic Front because of the small numbers being trained are slow but this could trigger reactions among other Gulf States that are not supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood’s international Islamist network.
The program is claimed to be have been going on for more than year. Qatar’s foreign ministry, the Central Intelligence Agency and the FSA refused to comment on the matter when contacted.