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UK drew up plan to train 100,000 Syrian rebels

3 July 2014 Last updated at 23:05 BST

The UK drew up plans to train and equip a 100,000-strong Syrian rebel army to defeat President Bashar al-Assad, BBC Newsnight can reveal.

The secret initiative, put forward two years ago, was the brainchild of the then most senior UK military officer, General Sir David Richards.

It was considered by the prime minister and the National Security Council, as well as US officials, but was deemed too risky.

Nick Hopkins reports.