Update: According to Israel National News, the Syrian rebels have turned down Israeli aid and are calling out to “Conquer Golan” (the Golan Heights). It’s a small group of rebels, but maybe it’s a sign that we should heed?
Send US weapons to Syria! Rep. Engel will put a bill into the House today to send military aid to Syria. The problem is that the US is on the side of the Syrian rebels and al Qaeda is also on the side of the Syrian rebels. We’re all on the same side.
This is reminiscent of the Russian revolution in the early 1900’s. The Anarchists teamed up with the Communists against the Tsar, and when they won, the Communists killed the Anarchists.
Rep. Eliot Engel, the senior Democrat of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee wants President Obama’s administration to train and arm some Syrian rebels as well as give them humanitarian assistance. He plans to introduce a bill to that effect today. We are already giving them non-lethal aid. McCain and Rubio also want to provide US military aid. [JPost]
Since we are not flush with cash and the rebels are now infiltrated with al Qaeda, that might not be such a good idea. When the revolution began, there was a chance US military aid would have worked. President Obama has previously rejected the idea because it is not possible to keep the weapons from falling into the wrong hands. He did say there is a red line and that would be the point at which chemical weapons are in danger of falling into the wrong hands.
Last March, Hillary Clinton said, in an interview with BBC News (watch video), that “We have a very dangerous set of actors in the region, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, and those who are on our terrorist list, to be sure, supporting – claiming to support the opposition [in Syria].”
Syrian rebels have said they were worried al Qaeda was co-opting the movement. [USA Today]
Times of Israel reported earlier this month, that Islamists tied to al Qaeda seized scud missiles along the border and elsewhere.
Islamist rebels tied to al Qaeda now control large parts of three provinces in north and eastern Syria. They are already forming civil administrations there to prepare for an Islamic state after the fall of President Bashar Assad. Some of the al Qaeda rebels who have usurped the Syrian forces fought against our own soldiers in Iraq. [McClatchy]
There aren’t large numbers of radical Islamists in the Syrian forces but they are the best organized. Helping Libya didn’t work out very well. The same could happen here.