WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The recruits will focus on fighting Daesh as opposed to fighting Syrian government forces, Votel explained.
"We are trying to avoid the problem we had the last time, where we didn’t know what their allegiances are," Votel said of renewed Pentagon efforts to train and equip Syrian opposition fighters.
At the end of 2015, the Pentagon announced the cancellation of its Syrian train and equip program after the $500 million initiative failed to produce more than five or six fighters.
Votel noted that focusing US recruitment on opposition leaders that would only fight Daesh would "limit the pool" of recruits. He also stated that US assistance should not be provided to individuals or groups that have attacked other US-supported assets in Syria.
Following the 2015 failure of the Syrian train and equip program, the Pentagon began providing weapons and training to what it termed the Syrian Arab Coalition.