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Syrian rebels make pitch to restore CIA program: report

Syrian rebels make pitch to restore CIA program: report
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Representatives of the Free Syrian Army are reportedly pressing U.S. officials to resume a defunct CIA program that provided military aid to the rebel group in its struggle against President Bashar Assad, citing the need to counter Iranian influence in war-torn Syria. 

Reuters, citing Syrian opposition sources, reported that a Free Syrian Army delegation has met with members of Congress and representatives from the White House in an appeal to restore the program. 

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Reports emerged last July that the Trump administration was moving to end the covert program started under former President Obama, signaling its failure. 

While the program was never officially acknowledged, President TrumpDonald TrumpDonald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen's dropped charges 'liberal privilege' Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump's shadow McConnell says he'd back Trump as 2024 GOP nominee MORE appeared to confirm its existence the same month, tweeting that The Washington Post had “fabricated the facts on my ending massive, dangerous, and wasteful payments to Syrian rebels fighting Assad.”

Mustafa Sejari, a top official with the Free Syrian Army, told Reuters that Trump needs to “turn words into action” and “confront Iranian hegemony” in Syria. 

“We endorse President Trump’s statements about the need to confront Iranian hegemony in the region. It is time to turn words into action. Until now on the ground it’s the Iranian militias that are expanding without serious resistance,” Sejari told the publication. 

“With every U.S. statement about the need to confront Iran’s influence, Iran has been expanding in Syria while moderate forces that are backed by Washington see aid being dried up and are weakened,” he said.