World Bulletin / News Desk
The Pentagon has not confirmed reports that al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate has released several U.S.-backed Syrian rebels after kidnapping them last month.
Citing an unnamed Defense official, the Hill newspaper reported that the Pentagon confirmed that the al-Nusra Front had released seven Division 30 rebels, but said that they were not part of the U.S.-trained New Syrian Forces (NSF).
The Defense Department could not confirm the reports upon an inquiry by Anadolu Agency on Monday.
“We cannot confirm the number or the names of those stated to have been released. Any NSF personnel that may be released by the [al-Nusra Front] are expected to use the skills they learned in the Train and Equip program to fight alongside vetted opposition forces against ISIL to defend the Syrian people,” Pentagon spokesman Maj. Roger Cabiness said.
The al-Nusra Front twice attacked a Division 30 encampment in northwestern Syria’s Azaz last month, reportedly capturing several rebels from the division and the NSF in successive attacks, including a Division 30 commander.
The Division 30 rebel group, which also incorporates U.S. trainees, said in a statement on social media that seven of its fighters were released by the al-Nusra Front.
"We value this noble step by our brothers in al-Nusra Front, and we hope that in the next few hours they will release the commander of the division and his companions," it said.Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Ağustos 2015, 10:32