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Al-Qaeda Affiliate In Syria Claims Capture Of U.S.-Trained Rebels

Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, the Nusra Front, claimed on July 31 that it had captured a number of Syrian rebels trained by the United States.

In an online statement, the militant group accused Washington of recruiting "forces from what it calls 'the moderate opposition'... to undergo a training and rehabilitation program run by the CIA."

Earlier this week, the British-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebel commander Nadim al-Hassan, whose fighting unit is known as Division 30, was kidnapped along with a number of his forces by the Nusra Front in the northern province of Aleppo late on July 29.

The Pentagon, however, said on July 30 that no members of the group of U.S. trainees, dubbed the New Syrian Force had been captured or detained.

In May, the U.S. military said it had begun training a small group of Syrian rebels in an effort to build a force capable of defeating the Islamic State extremist group that controls parts of Syria and Iraq.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP