Author Topic: Syrian rebels to get heavy weapons  (Read 293 times)

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Offline pjohns

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Syrian rebels to get heavy weapons
« on: June 22, 2013, 01:17:17 PM »
It now appears that the Syrian rebels are going to be receiving heavy weaponry from other nations; and this, notwithstanding President Obama's decision to split the baby, and send them light weaponry (which would hardly be decisive for them).

I remain deeply conflicted about this:  I don't like Bashar al-Assad (to put it mildly); but I am also no fan of the al-Qaeda supported rebels, some of whom appear to be the worst sort of thugs.

Anyway, here is a bit from the Washington Post on the matter:

BEIRUT — Syrian rebels said Friday that newly arrived shipments of heavy weaponry could swing the momentum on the battlefield in their favor, after a shift in U.S. policy opened the door for others to send them arms.

Weapons from the United States have not materialized since the White House announced last week it had authorized direct military support for the opposition, but the U.S. decision appears to have prompted other nations to increase assistance, with new deliveries including highly prized antitank and antiaircraft weaponry, according to Khalid Saleh, a spokesman for the main Syrian Opposition Coalition.

Saleh declined to provide specifics but said shipments had come from countries in the Friends of Syria Group, a coalition of 11 Western and Arab nations that back the opposition. The group is due to meet in the Qatari capital, Doha, on Saturday to discuss coordinating military support for the rebels.

“It’s not all the advanced weapons that we’ve asked for, but it is a few that mean we will be able to respond to attacks by air and tanks,” Saleh said, linking their arrival to the White House decision. “The U.S. changing its position sends a very strong signal to the other countries,” he said.

CIA operatives and U.S. Special Operations troops have been secretly training selected rebel groups to use antitank and antiaircraft weapons in Jordan and Turkey since late last year, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times on Friday. The Pentagon and the CIA declined to comment on the report.

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