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U.S. to end support to Syrian rebels

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The U.S. says it will end its military support designed to arm the rebels in war-torn Syria as fight to defeat ISIS intensifies.

The Washington Post reported that U.S. President Donald Trump was ending a covert CIA programme to arm and train so-called moderate Syrian rebels.

The chairman of the Russian upper house of parliament’s international affairs committee, Konstantin Kosachev, said on Thursday that the idea was a welcome development describing it as “long-awaited, excellent” news.

“This change of affairs will, without any doubt, create additional opportunities for Russian-American collaboration in anti-terrorism in the country,” Kosachev said on his Facebook page.

Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met earlier this month at the summit of the Group of 20 leading economies in the German city of Hamburg.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said in comments carried by state media on Thursday that the two leaders did not discuss the U.S. support for rebels in Syria during their talks at the G20 summit.

Russia is the main military backer of Syria’s controversial ruling regime, a longtime Russian ally, in that country’s bloody, multi-sided civil war.

The U.S. and some regional powers, which have accused the Syrian regime of perpetrating crimes against humanity, including killing civilians, have been supporting rebels seeking to overthrow the regime.

The U.S. and Russia, despite their support for opposing sides, agree on the need to eradicate the UN-designated terrorist organization Islamic State, which operates in Syria.

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