U.S. training Syrian rebels at secret bases

(CBS News) WASHINGTON -- Since late last year, the CIA has been training small numbers of Syrian rebels at secret bases in Turkey and Jordan, CBS News has confirmed.

The training has included the use of anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, which have been provided by Arab countries, and which the rebels say they badly need to counter the firepower of the Syrian army.

So far, you'd have to say the training hasn't succeeded, since in the past several weeks, the tide of battle has turned in favor of the government forces.

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The vicious conflict began more than two years ago when rebels rose up against the dictatorship of Bashar Assad. More than 90,000 people have been killed, and more than a million have been forced from their homes.

The White House announced last week that it would supply military support to the rebels seeking to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad. The announcement came after the administration concluded the regime used chemical weapons against the rebels.

  • David Martin

    David Martin is CBS News' National Security Correspondent.

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