“Rebel forces in Syria are now officially receiving CIA-delivered weapons from the United States government, the Washington Post reports, citing U.S. officials and Syrian figures.
Following months of delay, the lethal aid promised to the Syrian rebels by President Barack Obama began trickling into the war-torn country over the past two weeks. The opposition forces have also reportedly received vehicles and other gear from the State Department, marking a “major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war,” the Washington Post observes.
According to the Post’s sources, arms shipments of light weapons and other munitions are being delivered to the rebels as well as nonlethal gear like sophisticated communications equipment, advanced combat medical kits and vehicles — all funded by the U.S. taxpayer.
“U.S. officials hope that, taken together, the weapons and gear will boost the profile and prowess of rebel fighters in a conflict that started about 2 1/2 years ago,” the report adds.
The intense debate over whether the U.S. should use military force against Syria was still raging when President Obama addressed the nation on Tuesday. He asked Congress to wait to vote on a use-of-force resolution so diplomatic solutions could be explored.
Many members of Congress — and the majority of the American people — have stood against aiding the Syrian rebels due to the involvement of radical Islamist groups in the movement. A recent Washington Post/ABC poll found 70 percent of Americans were against arming the rebels.”