Rebel leader: U.S. strategy to train Syrians was flawed from the beginning

He says he had been critical of the $500 million program from its inception, citing the small number of trainees and the lack of funding provided for fighters’ salaries as key issues.

The total number of Division 30 recruits to enter the fight in Syria stands at just over 100, a far cry from the 5,000 that the U.S. had projected to graduate by the end of 2015 and few, if any, of these recruits ever actually took on ISIS on the battlefield.

“This is a huge humiliation to the Americans,” al Wawi said. “We did not expect this weakness in this project — we expected 1,000 Syrians to be trained.”

Al Wawi said recruits were paid $200 a month — a wage that was, “not enough for food, family, and kids,” and that paled in comparison to that earned by extremists fighters.