CNN and other media sources have just run a news story regarding the training of Syrian fighters in neighboring Jordan by United States personnel.
“Syrian rebels claim that hundreds of their fighters are being given sophisticated-weapons training organized and authorized by the United States at a camp in Jordan.”
Verification of this story is tough as the source is an anonymous spokesperson for the rebels, and when asked by White House reporters on this claim, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney simply stated that the U.S. does not “provide lethal aid to the Syrian opposition.”
Could he be telling the truth? Possibly. Could he have no idea what the truth is? Even more plausible.
What I can tell you for certainty is the existence of the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center, or KASOTC, located just North of Amman, Jordan and a mere forty miles from the Syrian border. For those of you not familiar with KASOTC, it is the number one special operations training center in the entire Middle East. The development of the facility itself was instigated by SOCCENT (U.S. Special Operations Command – Central) in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Since the training center opened its doors in 2009, the group responsible for providing the training cadre and course material was not the Department of Defense but actually a private organization out of Maryland by the name of ViaGlobal Group. The two-dozen or so training cadre are all private contractors who almost exclusively come from the U.S. Army Special Forces and Delta Force communities.
I came across this small job responsibility tidbit through a LinkedIn profile of a former U.S. Special Forces soldier who was employed under ViaGlobal Group in Jordan:
“Instruct, Consult and prepare POI for the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center and the Jordanian Army Special Forces. Instruct and serve as both a Primary and Assistant Instructor for Select Jordanian Special Forces candidates in a multitude of SOF skill sets; to include Small Unit Tactics, Survival, Heavy Weapons, CAS, Basic/Advanced Demolitions, Explosive and Mechanical Breaching, Combat Rifle and Pistol Marksmanship, Rotary Aircraft Infiltration Techniques, Close Quarter Battle, MDMP Planning, Intelligence Gathering, and other matters relevant to Unconventional Warfare Techniques. This three phase program was modeled on the U.S. Army Special Forces Qualification Course. Specifically Responsible for Consultation to Senior Jordanian Officers on the most current Special Operations Doctrine and training development concerning, Weapons Skills and Equipment, Explosive Breaching, Special Operations Planning, and methods insuring the integrity of Program Quality.”
Is it possible that three hundred Syrian rebel fighters were trained by U.S. personnel at KASOTC? In my opinion, absolutely. The location of the training center itself is a former mining quarry outside of the prying eyes of the civilian population in Amman.