“Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of” — New York Times, April 28, 2013
Syrian rebels pledge loyalty to al-Qaeda — USA Today, April 11, 2013
“U.S. Congressional Hurdles Lifted on Arming Syrian Rebels,” by Tabassum Zakaria for Reuters, July 22 (thanks to Jerk Chicken):
WASHINGTON (Reuters) — President Barack Obama should be able to go ahead with a plan to arm the Syrian rebels after some congressional concerns were eased, the chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee said on Monday.
“We believe we are in a position that the administration can move forward,” Rep. Mike Rogers, a Republican, told Reuters.
Both Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate intelligence committees had expressed worries about whether the administration’s plan would succeed, delaying weapons deliveries to the Syrian opposition.
The White House announced in June that it would offer military aid to vetted groups of Syrian rebels after two years of balking at directly sending arms to the opposition in the civil war.
Vetted how? By whom? By officials chosen by the President who is widely hated in Egypt for his uncritical support of the Muslim Brotherhood there?
But lawmakers held up the project, complaining that the plan might not tip the balance in Syria in favor of forces fighting President Bashar al-Assad, and that weapons could end up in the hands of Islamist militants.
Last week, a senior administration official said that members of the Senate Intelligence Committee who had questioned the wisdom of arming the insurgents had tentatively agreed that the administration could go ahead with its plans, but sought updates as the covert effort proceeded.
Now, the House has given at least a cautious go-ahead.
“It is important to note that there are still strong reservations,” he said. “We got a consensus that we could move forward with what the administration’s plans and intentions are in Syria consistent with committee reservations.”…