US trained Syria rebels refuse to fight al-Qaeda

Rebel fighter jumps through a fire loop as he demonstrates his skill during a military display as part of a graduation ceremony at a camp in eastern al-Ghouta, near Damascus, Syria. (Reuters)

Al Arabiya News //A group of U.S.-trained Syrian rebels have declared their refusal to fight al-Qaeda’s affiliate in the country, the Nusra Front, following a series of kidnappings by the militant group, The Guardian reported on Thursday.

Citing a source in Division 30, a group believed to have been trained by U.S.-backed forces, the British newspaper said the rebels also oppose U.S. airstrikes against al-Nusra Front.

In late July, al-Nusra Front vowed to cut off “the arms” of the American government in Syria when they attacked headquarters of Division 30, killing at least five fighters.

Al-Nusra Front detained the rebel group’s commander Col. Nadim al-Hassan along with six others last week.

Meanwhile, al-Nusra Front continued its campaign against the U.S.-backed rebel unit this week, with the UK-based monitoring network, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, saying al-Qaeda’s affiliate kidnapped five more members of Division 30.

A source in the U.S.-backed group said those captured were families of the fighters.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon also said members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) who went through the new U.S. training program to fight Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants have been captured by al-Nusra Front.

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said the military is monitoring the situation but details are sketchy.