BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian activists are reporting that 75 U.S.-trained rebels have returned to Syria after receiving training in Turkey, crossing the border in gun-mounted four-wheel drives.
A representative of the rebel group confirmed the return on Monday, without providing details. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.
U.S. Central Command spokesman Air Force Col. Patrick Ryder said last week that about 100 Syrian recruits were completing their U.S.-led training programs and that most would soon be in Syria.
The rebel' return, first reported by the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, comes days after the head of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. Lloyd Austin, told Congress that efforts to train 5,000 moderate Syrian rebels in a year had yielded "four or five" new fighters.