Refuses to say who was trained in Syria

Norwegian Army Litauen SyriaNorwegian Army exercise. Photo: Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvaret

The Government refuses to say who Norway has trained in Syria

The Government does not want to reveal which rebels in Syria that Norway has trained, although the United States informs Klassekampen that Norway has supported the Revolutionary Command Army.


In the Norwegian Parliament on Wednesday, Minister of Defense, Frank Bakke-Jensen (Conservatives), argued that such information is being held back due to the relationship with Norway’s coalition partners. Now the Department of Defense says to the newspaper that they will not provide information about which insurgents Norway has supported “for the sake of these groups’ own security”.

This causes Leader of Red, Bjørnar Moxnes, to react.

– It is untenable that they still refuse to tell which groups we have trained, even if the training has been completed a long time ago, and the groups themselves appear in Klassekampen. That the Americans confirm it makes it even more of a parody that this is not openly available information, says Moxnes.

Support from Labour

Anniken Huitfeldt (Labour), Leader of the Parliament’s Foreign and Defense Committee, supports the Government’s decision and provides another argument to withhold the information.

– The concern for the Norwegian soldiers’ security indicates that not all information should be shared with the public, she says to Klassekampen.

The information that Norway has supported The Revolutionary Command Army is according to the newspaper, coming from Combined Joined Task Force (CJTF). CJTF is the Kuwait-based leadership of Operation Inherent Resolve; The United States operation in the war against the Islamic state (ISIL) in Syria and Iraq.

About the Norwegian operation in Syria

  • In May 2016, the Government announced that Norwegian soldiers were to be sent to Jordan to participate in the training of Syrian rebels as part of the struggle against the Islamic state (ISIL).
  • The around 60 Norwegian special soldiers also had “a mandate to train, advise and provide operational support” in Syria.
  • The operative part of the mission was completed in October last year. The assignment was officially terminated on March 10th this year.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today