According to reports, Syrian rebels are now receiving weapons from the United States, apparently being funded and delivered by the CIA.
President Obama promised to aid the rebels by sending them weapons, and various reports now confirm that the delivery started nearly two weeks ago. The lethal aid came along with separate shipments on nonlethal aid that was promised to the rebels by the United States months ago.
The supply of weapons was approved by Congress following reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on his own people back in August in an attack that killed 1,400 civilians, including many women and children.
The lethal aid to the rebels comes amidst much debate about how the United States should respond to the attack in Syria. President Obama has made clear his belief that a targeted military strike would be the best option to stop the Syrian government from using chemical weapons against its own people, but decided to turn the decision over to Congress to vote on. Others, however, believe that the U.S. should stay out of the conflict in Syria completely, saying that the possible backlash could be detrimental.
In the last few days, developments have been made in finding a diplomatic solution to the problem in Syria. Russia, who happens to be one of Syria’s strongest allies, suggested that Syria should turn over control of its chemical weapons to the international community. Syria accepted the proposal, and despite skepticism by President Obama and others, the Congressional vote regarding a military strike has been put on hold to pursue this possible diplomatic solution.
Still, the conflict in Syria doesn’t seem to be getting any better, and a civil war continues to go on in the already ravaged country. Now, with the aid of the United States, Syrian rebels are continuing to fight back against the Assad regime.
It’s unclear whether the shipment of lethal and nonlethal aid by the United States will help the conflict in any way, but for now, there seems to be no end in sight.