WASHINGTON (Jun. 23)
American military training for the armies of Syria and Iraq, in addition to both arms and training for other Arab forces, is to be provided for the fiscal year 1966. This and other information pertaining to American policies in the Middle East emerged today when the House Appropriations Committee made public the recent testimony of the Defense and State Departments.
Revelation of a military training program for Syria came as a surprise in view of the generally poor relations of America with Syria. Chairman Otto Passman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations indicated surprise and displeasure on learning of the U. S. training program for Syria.
The 1966 program for Syria is based entirely on training, according to Gen. R. J. Wood, who testified. He made known that Syria’s Soviet-equipped forces will receive maintenance training and instruction of “professional specialists to a higher staff level, which is probably lieutenant colonel or maybe even colonel.” The cost of the training is paid by the U. S. Military Assistance Program. The Syrians are to be trained in the United States in professional military specialists schools and orientation trips.
During fiscal 1966 military training for Iraqi military personnel will be provided and instruction of Iraqi Air Force personnel broadened, it was made known. Programs aimed at modernizing the Jordanian army will be continued. Military equipment will be provided to Jordan. Arms, especially military aircraft, will be provided to Saudi Arabia together with training.