To recap: The Pentagon's goal was to train 5,000 moderate rebels to fight the Islamic State and who had to vow not to fight Assad's government. The first class only had 54 fighters trained, some who were later abducted. Another class of 76 surrendered a quarter of their U.S.-provided equipment.
Here's a look back.
"For months, U.S. military officials had been vetting the first unit of Syrian fighters slated to join a new force to be trained by the United States and allied nations. But when violence flared up in the unit’s home area, the fighters made a decision to stay home and defend their communities, forcing U.S military officials to line up an alternate unit."
"Less than 200 moderate Syrian rebels have started training with U.S. military advisers through a new Pentagon-run program, and none has graduated, a Defense Department spokesman said Thursday."
"U.S.-trained Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State have the equipment and the training to call in airstrikes, but have yet to be authorized to do so, according to a U.S. official with knowledge of the program."
Nadim al-Hassan was fighting in a unit called Division 30 and was picked up by al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate.
"But a U.S. official familiar with the training program, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the issue, said that the capture was “definitely a setback” for U.S. and Turkish plans to use Division 30 fighters to help direct airstrikes against Islamic State forces and establish a rebel-controlled safe zone in the area."
Days after a commander was abducted, recently trained cadets were captured by al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate. And at this point, only 54 Syrians graduated the training program.
"The first cohort of 54 Syrians to graduate from the training program, which aims to build up a force to fight the Islamic State, a separate Islamist group from Jabhat al-Nusra, crossed back into Syria in July. Trainers have struggled to fill spots in the program, partly because of a requirement that trainees pledge to fight only the Islamic State and not the Syrian government."
The "tiny number of fighters" was all that was fighting the militant group in mid-September as part of the $500-million-dollar Pentagon program.
"A U.S. contractor bought faulty grenades and then tried to sell them to the United States in order to fulfill a contract to arm Syrians participating in the Pentagon’s train and equip program for Syrian rebels."
After 71 fighters trained by the U.S. returned to Syria from Turkey, rumors swirled that "the group had defected to the al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra, fueled by photographs posted on social media by Jabhat al-Nusra purportedly showing U.S. weapons that had been handed over by the Pentagon graduates."
A quarter of the U.S-provided equipment, "including six pickup trucks and a portion of its ammunition," were surrendered to Jabhat al-Nusra.
"The acknowledgment is the latest discouraging report regarding the $500 million train-and-equip program, which Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, head of Central Command, said last week had only “four or five” trained Syrian fighters active in Syria."
"About 30 of the graduates rejoined a Syrian opposition group that has been vetted by the United States. The group’s commander, who has not been trained by the United States or coalition forces, planned to move them to another town and was contacted by a militant intermediary. The commander told the U.S. military that he was warned that unless he gave up some of his new equipment, his troops would be ambushed on their way to the new location, Ryder said."