(NEWSER) – The White House is pulling the plug on a strategy to train Syrian rebels that by all accounts has been an expensive flop. The $500 million Pentagon program that began in December had been designed to put more than 5,000 fighters on the ground this year alone to fight the Islamic State.

The actual number of fighting soldiers as of last month: "four or five," reports the New York Times. The AP notes the total number of soldiers to come out of the program is less than 80, and many of those were killed, captured, or took off. Not only that, but equipment such as pickup trucks and ammunition provided during the training has ended up in the hands of the al-Qaeda affiliate the Nusra Front.

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