US and UK Suspend Aid to Rebels in Northern Syria

U.K. and the U.S.
have suspended non-lethal assistance to
Assad’s opposition in northern Syria in the wake of fighters from
the Islamist Front seizing bases from the Free Syrian Army. As the
BBC’s James Reynolds explains,
some of the supplies sent by the U.S. and the U.K. could now be in
the hands of Islamists:

This year, the US promised to send $250m of non-lethal supplies
to the moderates represented by the National Coalition and the Free
Syrian Army. The aid is reported to include vehicles,
communications equipment and night-vision goggles. This year, the
UK has provided more than £20m of non-lethal aid – including
communications and search and rescue equipment.

Crucially, some of these supplies may now be with the Islamists.
Rebels from the newly formed Islamist Front have taken over
warehouses in northern Syria belonging to the FSA. This takeover
reflects the growing power of Islamist factions within the Syrian
opposition movement.

For this reason, the US and the UK have suspended their delivery
of aid. For the White House and for Downing Street, the idea of
supporting the Syrian opposition is getting increasingly

As the BBC’s
explains, the Islamist Front does not include Al
Qaeda-linked groups, but it does welcome “brothers who supported us
in jihad.”

Last week
, it was reported that the Free Syrian Army’s
General Salim Idris said that he was willing to join forces with
Assad in the future in order to fight Al Qaeda-linked groups, who
been enjoying
an increase in European recruits. 

That Islamists are among the rebels in Syria has been one of the
most convincing arguments against intervention there. The recent
news is only the latest sign that lethal military aid should not be
sent to Assad’s opposition.

More from on Syria here.

from Hit & Run

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.