United States has started sending light weapons and anti-tank weapons to Syrian rebels 2806133

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Defence & Security News - United States / Syria

 
 
Friday, June 28, 2013 11:15 AM
 
United States has started sending light weapons and anti-tank weapons to Syrian rebels.
The Central Intelligence Agency ( CIA) of United States has started sending weapons to Jordan with a view to arming small groups of vetted Syrian rebels within a month, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, June 27, 2013. "The CIA is expected to spend up to three weeks bringing light arms and possibly anti-tank missiles to Jordan," the newspaper said in its report, citing diplomats and U.S. officials briefed on the plans.
     
The Central Intelligence Agency ( CIA) of United States has started sending weapons to Jordan with a view to arming small groups of vetted Syrian rebels within a month, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, June 27, 2013. "The CIA is expected to spend up to three weeks bringing light arms and possibly anti-tank missiles to Jordan," the newspaper said in its report, citing diplomats and U.S. officials briefed on the plans.
Syrian rebels have only a few of anti-tank weapons like the Russian-made RPG-7 to fight against Syrian army tanks.
     
"The agency plans to spend roughly two weeks more vetting an initial group of fighters and making sure they know how to use the weapons that they are given, clearing the way for the first U.S.- armed rebels to enter the fight," the report said.

It said the shipments, training plus a parallel push to mobilize arms deliveries from European and Arab allies are being timed to allow "a concerted push" by the rebels starting by early August, as the rebels are losing ground in their fighting against the government forces.

U.S. President Barack Obama authorized the shipment of small arms and ammunition to the Syrian rebels in a new covert plan disclosed earlier this month, in a break with his long-held non- lethal-aid-only policy.

Washington concluded on June 13 that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, against the rebels, resulting in up to 150 deaths, crossing a "red line" set by Obama in his handling of the Syrian conflict that has claimed more than 93,000 lives.

The CIA had begun to store Soviet-era weapons, including ammunition for Kalashnikov rifles and armor-piercing antitank missiles, even before Obama decided to provide military support to the rebels, the Journal said.

 

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