Corker: U.S. Military Might Do Better Training Syrian Rebels

Sen. Bob Corker spoke at a gathering of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, which consists of NGOs, faith-based groups and policy experts. The organization's director calls Corker, "the most respected national security voices in our country today." Credit: TN Photo Services via Flickr

Sen. Bob Corker spoke at a gathering of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, which consists of NGOs, faith-based groups and policy experts. The organization’s director calls Corker, “the most respected national security voices in our country today.” Credit: TN Photo Services via Flickr

With new video footage of a purported chemical attack in Syria, Tennessee Senator Bob Corker says the U.S. needs to “step it up.” The top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is calling for a swifter arming of moderate Syrian rebels and possibly sending conventional forces to assist with training.

Corker just returned from meeting with rebel leaders in Syria and says he’s “dismayed” that arms and ammunition the U.S. promised mostly haven’t arrived.

President Obama has publicly acknowledged the U.S. is training the rebels in neighboring Jordan. Corker says the administration has to decide whether sending covert forces is enough.

“Or are we going to use our military to do the training? Again, I don’t want any boots on the ground in Syria. But they have an ability to do the training at more of an industrial-strength level.”

Corker was the featured speaker at an event with the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition in Nashville Thursday. He said U.S. involvement in Syria is critical because at the moment, the conflict is having a destabilizing effect on the region, including Jordan and Iraq.

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