Rebel Arms Flow Is Said to Benefit Jihadists in Syria

Syria

Syria (Photo credit: No Lands Too Foreign)

By DAVID E. SANGER
Published: October 14, 2012

WASHINGTON — Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats.
That conclusion, of which President Obama and other senior officials are aware from classified assessments of the Syrian conflict that has now claimed more than 25,000 lives, casts into doubt whether the White House’s strategy of minimal and indirect intervention in the Syrian conflict is accomplishing its intended purpose of helping a democratic-minded opposition topple an oppressive government, or is instead sowing the seeds of future insurgencies hostile to the United States.

“The opposition groups that are receiving the most of the lethal aid are exactly the ones we don’t want to have it,” said one American official familiar with the outlines of those findings, commenting on an operation that in American eyes has increasingly gone awry.

The United States is not sending arms directly to the Syrian opposition. Instead, it is providing intelligence and other support for shipments of secondhand light weapons like rifles and grenades into Syria, mainly orchestrated from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The reports indicate that the shipments organized from Qatar, in particular, are largely going to hard-line Islamists.

The assessment of the arms flows comes at a crucial time for Mr. Obama, in the closing weeks of the election campaign with two debates looming that will focus on his foreign policy record. But it also calls into question the Syria strategy laid out by Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger.

In a speech at the Virginia Military Institute last Monday, Mr. Romney said he would ensure that rebel groups “who share our values” would “obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad’s tanks, helicopters and fighter jets.” That suggests he would approve the transfer of weapons like antiaircraft and antitank systems that are much more potent than any the United States has been willing to put into rebel hands so far, precisely because American officials cannot be certain who will ultimately be using them.

Read full article [linked here]

Previous post:
Global Arms Sales Award goes to
Reparation & Ransom
Iran. Treaty of Versailles revisited.
Iran “deserves” Sanctions or Outcome of Sanctions
Aleppo

About these ads

2 Responses to “Rebel Arms Flow Is Said to Benefit Jihadists in Syria”

  1. Syria in crisis: Iran asked to help secure ceasefire « HAPLOGROUP – bit that makes us human. Says:

    [...] Brahimi suceed in implementing a genuine ceasefire for a genuine dialogue to begin? Especially with international players having their own agenda.. Iran has been asked to persuade the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, to [...]

  2. How do you start a forest fire? « HAPLOGROUP – bit that makes us human. Says:

    [...] Syria in Crisis Rebel Arms Flow Is Said to Benefit Jihadists in Syria Iran “deserves” Sanctions or Outcome of Sanctions Iran [...]


Comments are closed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,927 other followers

%d bloggers like this: