Exclusive: U.S. has secretly provided training to Syrian rebels
Since late last year, CIA and U.S. operatives have been providing support to Syrian rebels, particularly for anti-tank and anti-aircraft armaments.
The two-week courses include training with Russian-designed 14.5-millimeter anti-tank rifles, anti-tank missiles, as well as 23-millimeter anti-aircraft weapons, according to a rebel commander in the Syrian province of Dara who helps oversee weapons acquisitions and who asked his name not be used because the program is secret.
The training marks another step in U.S. involvement in the grisly, ongoing civil war within Syria, preceding President Obama’s recent pledge to provide arms to rebel forces.
Read the full story over at World Now.
Photos: Ahmad Aboud, Daniel Leal-Olivas, Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images, Manu Brabo, Edlib News Network / Associated Press
In its nascent stages the Syrian uprising was relatively easy to qualify in moral terms — Bashar al-Assad’s government has, after all, been one of intense repression, undemocratic intimidation, and showed through its violent response to free protest a deeply brutal ethos. However, as the uprising has descended into an all-out civil war, the distinction in brutality between the two sides has blurred somewhat, as international watchdogs have also condemned the rebellion forces (which include many al-Qaeda militants) for alleged war crimes.