“There is no such thing as the Free Syrian Army. People still use the term in Syria to make it seem like the rebels have some sort of structure. But there really isn’t.” — Rami Jarrah, prominent Syrian activist and co-founder of ANA Press, a Syrian news outlet

So who are we giving weapons to? Who are we funding to fight Bashar al Assad?

Short answer? No one.

Well, a handful are being trained. But no one to fight Assad. As of early July, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced a grand total of sixty Syrians have passed the Pentagon’s vetting process and have actually been retained for training. We don’t want them to fight Assad, though, that’s expressly forbidden. We’re training them to fight the Islamic State, and ONLY the Islamic State. In fact, that’s been a significant difficulty in recruitment. The Pentagon said in June that a major problem was finding recruits with no connections to the Islamic State and who would be willing to fight the IS and not Assad.