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What happened to arming the Syrian opposition?

John Rentoul

obama 300x200 What happened to arming the Syrian opposition?Am I right in saying that, after Barack Obama promised on 13 June to provide “direct military support” to the Syrian Supreme Military Council after evidence that Assad had used chemical weapons in the spring, no US weapons have been supplied to the opposition?

I can find a report of John Kerry, Secretary of State, repeating the President’s pledge; some reports that President Obama’s declaration encouraged other countries to supply weapons to the rebels; and that the latest use of chemical weapons has encouraged further shipments; but nothing that suggests any weapons arriving from the US.

Does this mean that the US has changed its mind about arming the rebels, or that it hasn’t got round to it yet and felt that the further use of chemical weapons required it to raise its response to the next level?

Photograph of President Obama on the phone to Stephen Harper, prime minister of Canada: White House

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  • newfriendofed

    I agree that it is hard to find info about this via the internet but my best guess is based on a Wall Street Journal article of the 26th June. It suggests that the U. S. has certainly not changed its mind or not got around to it. Instead, it seems to be doing it in quite a quiet and careful way with Jordan as the training and entry point.

  • greggf

    There have been reports in the Washington Post and ZeroHedge about clandestine US and other forces aiding the rebels.
    Some dirty tricks may be evident such as deliberate provocation of Assad’s regime….!
    Who’s going to believe anything the collective West say about this conflict ?

  • Kippers

    As far as I could understand it from talking to British diplomats, the logic was that sending arms to the moderate factions of the rebels would put pressure on Assad to attend peace talks and would out the moderate rebels in a better position to fight the Al-Qaeda affiliated rebels after the Assad regime had fallen. However as soon as Obama promised arms to the rebels, the rebels withdrew from the peace talks. Perhaps Obama realised that there were some gaps in the logic of arming the rebels, and perhaps somebody started asking questions about what would happen after Assad had gone.

  • Pacificweather

    If the USA has provided weapons to the opposition, then they are going to make as much song and dance about it as they did when they armed Osama bin Laden. That is, not at all.


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