Pentagon: US military has screened 1,200 moderate Syrian rebels for combat training

The Pentagon says the U.S. has screened about 1,200 moderate Syrian rebels who could participate in a new training program so they eventually can return to the fight against Islamic State insurgents.

Press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby says they will continue to be screened as they move through the process. He says they could go to any of the three training facilities in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar — once those sites are set up.

Kirby says the rebel fighters come from several moderate groups in Syria.

Kirby says the training will focus on basic military equipment and skills.

Once the Syrian fighters are trained, they could help provide information to coalition forces conducting airstrikes against Islamic State militants.