Published On: Thu, Oct 18th, 2012

NY Times article reveals US sending weapons to Syria are falling into hands of ‘Islamic hardliners’

Sunday’s NY Times article, titled “Jihadists Receiving Most Arms Sent to Syrian Rebels?” details how the flow of weapons from Saudi Arabia and Qatar supplying Syrian rebel groups are actually going to Islamists.

The Obama administration has been vocal about taking an active role in the removal of Bashar al-Assad from power.

Now the Times says the US efforts may not be yielding the results that Americans would approve of…

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.

Michael Thompson from One Love, Earth via wikimedia commons

“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.

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. – Times article.

“We haven’t seen anyone step up to take a leadership role for what happens after Assad,” the diplomat said. “There’s not much of anything that’s encouraging. We should have lowered our expectations.”

Most experts are not hopeful that peace will come from a post-Assad regime, especially after the rebels have sparked conflict with neighboring Turkey. (Read more here.)

The Saudis and Qataris are themselves relying on intermediaries — some of them Lebanese — who have struggled to make sense of the complex affiliations of the rebels they deal with.

“We’re trying to improve the process,” said one Arab official involved in the effort to provide small arms to the rebels. “It is a very complex situation in Syria, but we are learning.”


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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. John Kerry confirms US to give $60 Million in aid to Syrian rebels - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] NY Times article confirmed that weapons supplied by the US had already fallen in hands of radicals and raised questions about the US role in Libya and […]

  2. Russia confirms Syrians have US Stinger missiles, Pentagon is quick deny claims - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] recent NY Times article revealed details of how weapons are moving through Turkey to enter […]

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