U.S.-backed rebels in southern Syria have, at long last, made some gains, capturing multiple towns from government forces just south of Damascus. The rebels reportedly include those who graduated from a relatively new CIA training program based in Jordan. The group, called Friends of Syria, is backed by Jordan, France, the U.S., and Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, in northern Syria, U.S.-backed rebels have wilted in the face of attacks by Islamic militants. However, it should be noted that the U.S.-backed rebels in the south have achieved success while working with fighters from al Qaeda’s Syria branch.