(GPA) A decision of whether or not to send heavier weaponry to rebels in Syria is currently at a stand-still. Meanwhile Washington finally starts to wonder if arming the rebels might be doing more damage than good.
One senior US official said it’s time to reevaluate who exactly the US is arming in Syria and if they’re really “moderate.” Washington is currently under pressure from Moscow to separate moderate rebels from jihadist extremists.
The CIA rebels are “not doing any better on the battlefield, they’re up against a more formidable adversary, and they’re increasingly dominated by extremists,” said the U.S. official who wished to remain anonymous. “What has this program become, and how will history record this effort?”
However, a lot of Washington still believes arming rebels is the road to peace. “We continue to press for options that will decrease violence in Aleppo and alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people,” a senior administration official said. “We and our partners will continue to provide support to the opposition and Syrian civil society in a manner that advances those objectives.”
The heavier weaponry would include anti-aircraft missiles powerful enough to defend the rebels against Russian equipment. A lot of experts are worried that if CIA-backed rebels take down a Russian plan or injure Russian forces, this could be the catalyst to launch the United States into a ground war with Moscow.
The decision of whether or not to send heavier weapons to rebels will likely be put off until a new US president takes office next year. But at least some officials in Washington are finally growing skeptical of the current system. Unfortunately since Hillary Clinton aggressively supports a no-fly zone in Syria, things are likely to get a lot worse from here on out.