US Congress Approves Arming of Syrian Rebels
After weeks of delays and uncertainty the United States congress has approved President Obama’s plan to send American weapons to fuel the bloody uprising against President Assad. Ironically on the same day, a representative of Assad’s government announced the finalization of plans to take delivery of weapons purchased from the Russian government.
The CIA could now start sending weapons to Syrian rebels, who are fighting alongside members of al Qaeda and other Islamic extremists, within a matter of weeks.
Obama’s White House announced plans to send weapons to vetted rebel groups in Syria last month. The plan was held up, however, by congressional concern over the difficulty of preventing weapons from ending up in the hands of terrorist groups. On Tuesday, however, the chairman of the House committee Mike Rogers announced that the panel has agreed to support the President’s plan.
“The House intelligence committee has very strong concerns about the strength of the administration’s plans in Syria and its chances for success,” he said in a statement. “After much discussion and review, we got a consensus that we could move forward with what the administration’s plans and intentions are in Syria consistent with committee reservations.”
Not only will there be concern that US weapons could end up in the hands of the country’s enemies, there will also be concern that even if they are successful in helping rebels to topple the Assad regime, they could continue fuel to long civil war in Syria for years afterwards. Kurdish separatists, Sunni Islamists and secular rebels are already fighting each other in many areas of the country, as well as fighting the Syrian government.