US secretly OKs arming Syria militants to continue fighting

US secretly OKs arming Syria militants to continue fighting
Tue Jan 28, 2014 16:47:15

American lawmakers have secretly authorized sending arms, an assorted variety of rockets, and financial backing to the militants in Syria, a new report says.

US lawmakers voted behind closed doors in order to fund the arms deliveries through the end of the 2014 fiscal year, which ends on September 30, Reuters reported.

Reuters’ report, which was based on information provided by US and European security officials, also said that most of the US weapons are being delivered to foreign-backed militants in the south of Syria via Jordan.

The news comes as negotiations for a peaceful solution to the nearly three-year-old Syrian conflict are due to resume in Geneva, Switzerland, after Monday’s talks between representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition hit a deadlock over the issue of transfer of power.

Funding for arms deliveries to militants in Syria was approved by US Congress in the classified sections of defense appropriation legislation. It is not clear when lawmakers voted for the funding, though they passed unclassified defense funding in late December.

On Monday, US officials also said that Washington would resume providing “non-lethal” aid to “opposition groups” in Syria after the seizure of warehouses by their rival groups, al-Qaeda-linked insurgents, prompted a sudden cutoff of Western supplies.

Syria sank into war in March 2011 when pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of Western and regional states.

The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has transpired as one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.


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