Trump Shuts Down CIA funding of Syrian Rebels
President Trump is shutting down the CIA’s program to arm and train rebels fighting the Syrian government, The Washington Post reported Wednesday, a victory for Russia, which has called for the move for years.
Officials told the Post that shutting down the program, begun by the Obama administration in 2013, is a sign of Trump’s attempts to work with Russia, which has viewed the U.S. attempts to force out Syrian President Bashar Assad during that country's civil war as an attack on its own interests.
The shuttering of the CIA program does not mark the end of U.S. involvement in Syria — Trump signed off in May on a plan to arm the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish rebel group, using Department of Defense funds.
Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin struck a deal for a partial cease-fire during their meeting at the Group of 20 summit earlier this month, set for a region of Syria where rebels supported by the CIA are stationed.